It has happened to many expatriates living in Saudi Arabia that the English or Arabic names on the Iqamas were misprinted. People used to think that it is not a big deal if your name is misprinted on the Iqama but believe me it is a big deal. If your name on Iqama is different from your passport or Arabic name on Iqama is different from the English name on Iqama, you will be facing many problems. I have explained the procedure to change the name on Iqama and Driving License below.[irp]
Why should you have correct name on Iqama? As we have discussed earlier, the name on Iqama should be the same as the name on the Passport. Moreover, the Arabic name on Iqama should be the same as English name on Iqama due to the following reasons;
If the name on Iqama is different from the name on Passport, you may have to face many difficulties when you are out of Saudi Arabia. Especially the Police Clearance Certificate which is required if you have to migrate to some European, American or Australian country will be issued from Saudi Arabia for the name on Iqama. If the name on Iqama is different from the name on Passport, you would not be able to get Police Clearance Certificate for yourself.
If your Arabic name on Iqama is not your correct name and you are from a country where Arabic writing style is adopted like Arab countries or Pakistan and Iran, it can be problematic. The marriage certificate issued by Saudi Government will not be accepted by your government since your name in Arabic is wrong and they can read your name. Similarly, if the name on the degree is written in Urdu, Saudi Embassy will not attest it as the name on Iqama is different from the name on the degree.
If the name in English is different from name in Arabic, there can be still problems. According to the guidelines of Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA), you cannot open your account if English name on Iqama is different from Arabic name. I know many people who have been refused to open a bank account because of this reason.
Procedure to Change Name on Iqama: Now we have clarified how important it is to have the same name on Iqama and passport. Now, we shall be explaining about the procedure to change the name on iqama in Saudi Arabia.
Don’t Receive Iqama with wrong Names: First of all, while receiving your first iqama, make sure that the name on Iqama is same as your passport. Moreover, Arabic name is same as an English name. If you don’t know how to read Arabic, just let someone else check it on your behalf. If it is not same, just refuse to receive Iqama and ask the government relations officer of your company to change it. He will go and get it rectified.
Procedure to change the English Name on Iqama: Let’s say you could not ask the government relations officer of your company to change the name on the first iqama, it is not even too late now. You can still change the English name on Iqama and procedure is very simple. Let me tell you my experience, my English name on Iqama were different from the passport. I went to government relations officer of my company and asked him for the solutions. He opened an online system in front of me and changed my name in the system. After 2 minutes the English name on my iqama was changed. I got the new hard copy with the corrected spellings when my iqama was renewed.
Changing Arabic Name on Iqama: The procedure of changing Arabic name on Iqama is different from the procedure of changing the English name of Iqama. The reason is that the government relations officers have been given online access to change the English names on Iqama but not Arabic names. In order to change the Arabic name on Iqama, government relations officer of your company will have to go to the Jawazat himself and change it. You may have to request it for several times for that and he may ask you to pay him some out of pocket expenses as well. Recommended: Download form 203 to change Name on Iqama in Saudi Arabia
Changing Arabic Name on Driving License: Waz: This is pretty simple, visit any traffic police station and show them your Iqama and License and explain to them what you need if you know Arabic or take someone with you who can speak Arabic. There is 5 minutes paperwork, pay the replacement license fee and the job is done. I did this had the wrong name on my Iqama.a