Your Iqama (Residence Permit) is the document you need to keep with you every time. If at any point of time, you are found without having legal Iqama with you, you will be fine which may vary according to the frequency you have caught in. Please remember, you are not living in your own country, neither are you living in some European or American country where the provision of residence permit number will be enough for the proof that you are a legal resident of the company. You will have to produce your Original Iqama to the official asking for it.
Caught for the First Time: If you are caught for the first time without Iqama and your Iqama is still valid, you will be detained and locked up in Jail. After that, you will be allowed to call to someone who has access to your Original Iqama. Let’s say, you have Iqama at the house so you can call your brother or friend to pick it from there and bring it to Police station. After producing original iqama, you will be released and the government will impose a fine penalty of SR 1,000/- for not producing the Iqama on demand. Recently it has been published in the Saudi Gazette that there will be no more detention in case an employee is caught without Iqama.
Caught for the Second Time: Now if you are caught for second time without Iqama, it means you are in habit of making violations of the Law. The Same procedure will have to be adopted but the fine imposed will be SR 2,000/-. A warning will be given that if the mistake is repeated the third time, consequences may lead to deportation.
Caught for the Third Time: If this mistake is repeated for the third time, consequences are really very serious. This time you will have to call your Kafeel along with original Iqama. A fine of SR 3,000/- will be imposed upon the person making a violation. Moreover, the government will make arrangements for the deportation. (If Kafeel wants to retain, he can go out of the box and make some arrangements. Otherwise, you are gone!). Gulf News has reported that a plan to ban the deported expatriates from one GCC country from entering on work visas in any other GCC country has been finalized. To know about the status of the implementation, click on this link “GCC Wide Ban on Deported Expatriates of GCC Countries”
Iqama is under Renewal Process: If your iqama is under processing of renewal, you need to have a letter from your Kafeel on the letter head duly attested by the Chamber of Commerce. We have listed down some important points for attestation of documents from Chamber of Commerce. I would recommend you to read them before personally visiting the chamber of commerce. Producing this letter to the official is equivalent to producing Iqama. If you don’t have even this letter in your pocket, the same procedure will be adopted as mentioned above. You will be fine as you are not carrying Iqama. However, you need to take care of the date mentioned on the letter in this case. If letter by Kafeel is more than 2 months old, a government official may not accept it. Yes, you would be thinking now, it is not your fault if Iqama is not renewed in time. But brother, no one cares whose fault is this. You will have to face consequences.
Iqama is Lost: We have explained in detail in this article about the procedure you need to adopt in case Iqama is lost. If any official asks you about the Iqama, you can show him the police report if it is recently generated. Again, if a police report is more than one month old, that official has every right to declining this report as replacement of producing Iqama on demand.