How to Process Residence Permit or Muqeem (Iqama) for First Time Expats in Saudi Arabia

Once you arrived at Saudi Arabia, you should process your Iqama/Muqeem within 90 days upon arriving. Your employer will be the one to handle the expenses as stated on the Saudi Labor Law Article 40.1.

If you have not processed your Iqama within 90 days of arrival, your employer will have a penalty and you will be able to transfer your sponsorship even with no consent from your current sponsor.


Procedure to apply for first Residence Permit or Muqeem

1. Medical test

First, you need to undergo and pass a medical test from an approved facility on the region of your Kafeel. Either your company, you, or the clinic can send the result to the Ministry of Interior’s online database after two days as a documentary proof that you have undergone the test. Ensure that you have your original passport with you when you go to the medical center and bring a fee of SR 200.

Some nationalities the test includes HIV/AIDS test, TB test, eye sight and hearing test and cholera test; hence you will have to be ready for this. The lab report will be sent to the MOI in this form. Kids are excluded from the medical test when they apply for the first Iqama. After this lengthy procedures, you can now Check Status of Medical Test Report for Saudi Iqama Online, most of the time people don’t bother this step – checking the medical report status.

2. Council Registration

If you have stated on your visa that you are an accountant or an engineer, you need to register with the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA) or the Saudi Council of Engineering prior to applying your Iqama for the first time. Now, they require Engineers to pass a qualifying exam “”All engineers will have to pass technical tests and a deal has been struck with the National Center for Assessment in Higher Education4 (Qiyas) for this. There will be two tests — the first is on the principles and basics of engineering for fresh graduates and the second for engineers who have completed 10 years of service to qualify them for project director’s post,” – Arab news


3. Health Insurance Registration

Submit your passport along with two passport sized photographs to your employer. It will be use to apply for your health insurance. This insurance is required for your first Iqama to be processed. This is issued based on your border number which you can find written on your passport. It is handwritten by the immigration officer during the time you first entered KSA.


4. Iqama/Muqeem Fee

For the first Iqama issuance, fee is SR 500 with addition of SR 150 for HDR. The employer may also pay SR 2400 per employee for Iqama issuance.


5. Correcting Details

Once you receive your Iqama, ensure that your name in English is in correspondence with your name in Arabic. You also need to check if the name on the passport is the same as the one in your Iqama. If there are wrong details, you must return the Iqama for correction immediately. When working in a company, do not accept your Iqama if mistakes are not corrected.

In processing for the Iqama, you need to submit it to the Jawazat. Once issued you can keep your Iqama with you, though some practice that employers keep it for their employees.

Therefore, with this easy to follow steps and procedures you will have you Iqama processed in time and live on without much worry.