Saudi Cabinet has approved the Iqama issuance, work permit issuance, work permit renewal, and Iqama renewal on a quarterly basis for a minimum of 3 months.
It means that the employer has the option to renew the Iqama either on a quarterly basis or on an annual basis as per the currently implemented system.
However, the current decision of quarterly iqama renewal is not applicable to domestic workers.
Is it good or bad for expats?
I believe that the decision for the quarterly iqama renewal in Saudi Arabia is very good for both employers and expats for the following reasons;
1 – The quarterly renewal of Iqama is optional, not mandatory. Therefore, if you are not comfortable with it, you can continue with the current system.
2 – The quarterly renewal of Iqama allows expats to pay for the dependent fee on a quarterly basis rather than for the full year. The dependent fee is SR 400/month/dependent.
3 – The employer has the option to pay for the Maktab Amal fee on a quarterly basis.
4 – Sometimes employers renew the Iqama of employees and when the employee resigns, they ask to pay off the Iqama renewal fee paid by employees. With the option to quarterly renew Iqama, the employee can request to renew it only for 3 months if he is planning to resign.
Source: Ministry of Interior.