Can an employee keep both his Iqama and Passport with him at the same time?

Holding Iqama by Employee: Iqama is the most important document for each resident in Saudi Arabia. You need to keep it with you all the time. If you are caught not carrying Iqama with you, the penalty can reach up to SR 3,000 and deportation. Especially if you are going outstation, it is very important to check at least twice that you have Iqama in your pocket. The detail has been covered in this link “Fines for not carrying Iqama”. You may have to face trouble if your Iqama is lost in Saudi Arabia. You will have to follow a certain procedure to apply for the Iqama again. We have covered this topic in detail in this link “What to do if Iqama is Lost”. 

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Holding Passport by Employee: Passport is also an important document which you will need at the time you are leaving the country. If your passport is lost in Saudi Arabia, you will have to report it to Police and follow a certain procedure which is given in this link “What to do if Passport is Lost”. It is important to mention here that Passport is your personal property. No one has the right to keep your passport. In fact, it is illegal if someone else wants to hold your passport. In Saudi Arabia, generally, employers keep the passport of employees with them which is illegal. We have covered this topic in detail with specific references to law and resolution in this link “Legality of Holding Passport by Kafeel”

Holding Iqama and Passport by Employee at the same time: Now we have already established holding Iqama is your responsibility during your stay in Saudi Arabia and holding your passport is your right. A question is generally asked by people, can expatriates hold both Iqama and Passport at the same time? Well, the answer is “YES”. You can hold both iqama and Passport with you during your stay in Saudi Arabia. However, if you are leaving Saudi Arabia on exit re-entry visa or Final Exit Visa, your employer has the right to keep your Iqama. Many employers do not take Iqama from employees at the time they leave the country but still, it is the right given to employers by the Saudi Law.

Source: Arab News

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