What is an Iqama?

What is an Iqama? Well, primarily, an Iqama is very important for all expatriates in Saudi Arabia since it is their residence permit for them to live in the kingdom.

It is one of the law’s requirements for the expatriates to prove their legality while staying in the country. If you have no valid Iqama – including those that are already expired – means that you are already staying illegally in KSA.

You need to process your Iqama within 90 days from arrival through the help of your sponsor. Generally speaking, Iqama is good for one year from the Hijri date, while Muqeem is valid for 5 years from date of issuance or renewal.

Remember that only the Iqama / Muqeem are considered valid identity cards for expats in the Kingdom. If you do not have this, you cannot do things at all.

If you are caught without your Iqama for the first time, a fine of SR 1000 will be charge to you. Second penalty will be SR 2000. Third offense will be SR 3000 and the worst possibility that you will be sent back home to your country.

Benefits of Possessing a Valid Iqama/Muqeem Card:

  1. You can have a Saudi Arabian Temporary Residence Permit.
  2. If you are on a qualified profession, you can sponsor family members through permanent visa.
  3. For Muslims, you can go to Um-rah all the time.
  4. You can travel and roam around Saudi Arabia with no worries at all.

How to acquire Iqama

The processing of Iqama depends on the employer. But you will need these documents:

  • 4 pcs passport size photos
  • At least 6 months validity of passport with two blank pages
  • Fully filled up visa application form
  • Letter of visa reference
  • Letter of employment
  • Authorization from a power of attorney*
  • Photocopy of your signed contract
  • Attested copy of your education certificates


What are the details on the Iqama?

The following details are available in Iqama.

  1. Name in English:
  2. Name in Arabic:
  3. Iqama Number:
  4. Serial Number: Serial Number shows the number of Iqamas already issued for the employee.
  5. Place of Issue:
  6. Date of Expiry:
  7. Date of Birth:
  8. Profession:
  9. Nationality:
  10. Religion:
  11. Labor Card Number:
  12. Name of Employer:

Once you have your Iqama/Muqeem, make sure that your English name corresponds to your Arabic name. Also, the spelling of your name on your passport should be the same on your Iqama. Should there be any mistakes, return the Iqama immediately for correction. Never receive an Iqama with incorrect details.

There are several more published articles about Iqama that we have published. Please ensure that you go through them so as to check if there is any information you may require.