10 Terms and Conditions of Residence Permit (Iqama) in Saudi Arabia

We all know that Iqama is very important for any foreign or expatriate living in Saudi Arabia as it is the legal document required that permits them to live in the country. It is also known as a residence permit. All those people who arrive in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa need to get a residence permit. Alongside with benefits, Iqama comes with some terms and conditions listed below.

1-As expatriates arrive in Saudi Arabia underemployment, it is the duty of the employers to obtain residence permits for their employee, this allows the employee to move around freely in the city.

2-The employer must keep the residence permit whenever the employee travels outside the country on an exit re-entry visa. In the case of the final exit visa, it is the duty of the employer to discard the Iqama.

3-As the residence permit is the only thing that allows an expatriate to move around freely in the city, so in case someone loses it, the incident has to be reported to the police and passports authorities.

4-If anyone is found without the residence permit and it is not reported then heavy fines are imposed.

5-All residence permits come with an expiry date and must be renewed 3 days before they expire. The renewal process evaluates the permit holder. If the renewal process is not done prior to 3 days of expiry, then a fine is charged.

6-The wife and children below the age of 18 are permitted for a stay under the householder’s residence permit. Children above 18 must follow a separate procedure to renew their Iqama.

7-If a police officer requests the residence permit then it is the duty of the expatriate to present it. Failing to do so will result in punishment according to established law.

8-The permit is not to be handed over or to be kept with someone else other than the authorities. Acts like pawning the permit are strictly prohibited.

9-The people allowed to live under the household resident permit (dependents of an expatriate) are not allowed to work until the concerned authorities allow them to, if they do so they will be punished according to law.

10-It is the duty for the companies, establishments, and individuals to NOT to hire an expatriate who does not possess a residence or work permit. The employers must obtain the permit for their employees. Also, employing someone who has been sponsored by someone else is breaking the law and actions will be taken against it.

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.