What are the types of iqama in Saudi Arabia?

There are around 10 million expatriates living in Saudi Arabia on different types of Iqama. Many people don’t even know that the type of Iqama has an impact on your social class and entitlement to rights in Saudi Arabia.

  1. Domestic Worker Iqama

The first type of iqama in Saudi Arabia we are going to talk about today is the domestic worker’s iqama. This category of people is employed by Saudis at home as housemaids, drivers and building watchmen. They enjoy a free medical treatment at the government hospital. However, they cannot apply for a permanent family visa or family visit visa for their loved ones.

  1. Labor Class Iqama

The second type of Iqama in Saudi Arabia is of the labor class. These people are generally construction workers, cleaners, plumbers and all those workers who cannot apply for a family visit visa or permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia. Their companies pay for their insurance cards.

  1. Professional Class Iqama

The third type of Iqama in Saudi Arabia is a professional class iqama. Doctors, professors, accountants, engineers working in the private sector come under this category of iqama. The people of this category are entitled to apply for a family visit visa or permanent family visa for their families.

People having this type of Iqama can easily apply for a visa to other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Canada, Schengen, the USA or the UK. Their companies pay for their insurance cards.

  1. Dependents Iqama

The fourth type of Iqama in Saudi Arabia is dependent Iqama. People with this category are housewives, the children of expatriate workers and their parents. Now it is required to pay a dependent fee to renew their Iqama. Normally, the employer of worker pays for their insurance cards. However, if it is not covered in the contract, the worker has to renew their insurance cards himself.

  1. Government employees Iqama

The last type of iqama in Saudi Arabia are the people who are working in the government sector. They are also entitled to get free treatment in government hospitals of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, they don’t have to pay for the dependent fee which is a great advantage for them.

  1. Businessmen Iqama

A very few people have this type of Iqama in Saudi Arabia as you have to apply for a SAGIA license to get it. In this category, “Businessman” is written as the profession on your Iqama which entitles you to buy property or house in Saudi Arabia. 

The people of this category are entitled to apply for a family visit visa or permanent family visa for their families. People having this type of Iqama can easily apply for a visa to other countries.

  1. Special Privileged Iqama or Green Card

The government of Saudi Arabia has recently launched this type of iqama which entitles you to many rights and benefits. You have to pay SR 100,000 per annum a one-time fee of SR 800,000 to get this special privileged Iqam or green card.

The good thing about this type of iqama is that they don't have to pay for the dependent fee for their children. Expatriates running businesses at a large scale with big families are normally interested in it.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.