Iqama validity is one of the major concerns of any expatriate living in Saudi Arabia. The expiry date is also mandatory when filling out some application forms.
Three days is a grace period and you can renew without any extra charges. But after that, you have to pay the penalty for 500 SAR for the first failure, 1000 SAR for second failure and 1000 SAR and deportation of the third failure.
Remember, your company contract and your Iqama validity is separate things. With a valid visa, you can stay in KSA and its illegal to stay without a valid Iqama. You even can’t get an exit visa on an expired Iqama. Also, keep in mind passport expiry date has nothing to do with Iqama expiry date but if your passport is expired then you cannot get renewed your Iqama.
Nowadays, big companies have set up their systems to alarm the HR and the concerned department to any Iqama and Insurance expiries. If you work in a small firm then set a reminder in your e-mail.
Whatever the reason you are here, I will show you simple methods to check your Iqama date expiry date.
On Friday 5th July 2019 MOI redirected its old web portal moi.gov.sa to www.absher.sa. You must have an Absher account now to use most of the services now.
Read More: Saudi Driving License
Note: Absher website is being updated – You can try all below method and see which works for you.
Methods to Check Iqama Expiry Date
I will explain here three easy online and offline methods that you can find your query as per your convenience.
- Expiry Data Check without Absher | Online
- Iqama Status Check without Absher Account | Online
- Expiry Check at Iqama
Expiry Data Check without Absher | Online
You must have an Absher account to do this check. If you have it then OK or else you can visit here How to get an Absher Account
Step – 1: Go to Absher website- Here Absher.sa.
Step – 2: Click on “Individual”
Step – 3: Change the language to English if you are not good at English
Step – 4: You will see a screen like below where you have to sign in in your Absher Account
Step – 5: Enter your credential, enter the image code “1455” you may be different and hit log in.
Step – 6: You will be prompted to a verification code that you will receive at your mobile. Enter it and again hit login.
Step – 7: You will see a screen like below. Click on Query Iqama Expiry Service at the right bottom or you can search if you cannot find it. You can scroll to right-left also.
Step – 8: Once you clicked on Query Iqama Expiry Service then you will see a window like below
Step – 9: Enter Iqama number and image code as I have shown in the picture. Click view
Step – 10: Click on view and you can see your Iqama expiry date that is in Hijri
Step – 9: The date displayed by the system will be like Iqama is valid till 1441/06/13 (Your Iqama is Valid till Year/Month/Day/). This is in Hijri calendar.
Step – 10: You need to convert this Hijri date to Gregorian colander by visiting here Iqama Hijri to Georgian.
In our case here it is February 8, 2020.
Note: You can check expiry dates of your friends and family by same Absher account. No need to open their Absher.
Iqama Status Check without Absher Account
Yes, one can check Iqama Expiry Date without a registered Absher account by using an Absher account of any of his friend, relative. You just need to enter his Iqama number at Step – 9 above.
Expiry Check at Iqama | Offline
Just grab your Iqama and you will see the expiry date clearly mentioned on it. Yes, you can convert Hijri date to Georgian Calendar to understand better. See below picture for your convenience
You can see where I have translated the expiry date, there you can find it and ask any Arabic guy to read it for you those numbers if you are unable to make it.
What is Iqama?
Iqama is also known as Aqama or Muqeem Card. This is for expats working in Saudi Arabia only. It is nothing more than just an Identity Card. In other countries, the worker will have a passport with a visa stamped but in the Saudi Arabia Iqama is issued which have a lot of information connected to it.
A valid Iqama is necessary to process all the transactions like Exit Re-Entry from Saudi to back home, Bank will not entertain you if you have an invalid iqama.
An expatriate must have a check on his Iqama validity all the times. Although bigger firms have set up their own systems to alert the HR team to know if Iqama is going to expire for any company employee.
In-fact, being an expatriate, you must have your Iqama all the time where ever you go inside Kingdom, but you cannot take iqama out of Saudi Arabia or else a fine will be imposed if get caught.
What is Iqama Requirement?
Iqama can be issued against worker visa, study visa, dependents visa, and spouse visa. An expat worker should have a proper work permit issued from his/her sponsor. The same way a student came here for study purposes can get an Iqama. Kids and spouse of a worker will also have Iqama if they are on a permanent basis with him/her. A dependent like a driver, cook, etc. will also be entitled to an Aqama. Before applying for Iqama a medical test is conducted by any designated hospital in Saudi Arabia – One must pass it!
If you have dependent under your name, then you are the sponsor and your Kafeel have nothing to do with them. It is the employer who should take the responsibility to issue a visa.
One more thing, once a worker is on new visa then he/she has 90 days maximum to get an Iqama as the visa is normally issued for 90 days. Some companies that hire consultants always send them back before 90 days to get a new stamp on a visa to work again and avoid iqama fees as they are not going to hire them permanently.
A probation period is also for 90 days in Saudi Arabia so that the company can judge its workers if they are worthy to have them and vice versa.
How to Renew an Iqama?
As you are aware now how you can check the validity of your Iqama. Normally, an Iqama is an issue for one Hijri year means it is valid for one year.
Iqama renewal is also a duty of you Kafeel. An employer needs to pay the Ministry of labor (Maktab e Amal) fee to get it renewed. This fee varies as per Nitaqat categories but if it is Red then there is no way to make a renewal.
You are an illegal entity if you are failed to get a renew in maximum 3 days after the date of expiry. Without any 3 days period is allowed by Jawazat and is called grace time. After that, all of your online systems will be blocked automatically like bank accounts as everything is well connected through an online system.
To get renewal all one must just pay Maktab e Amal fee but some residents like Nigerian people must go through a medical test at each renewal.
As soon as it is renewed, you will get an SMS on your mobile. Once the system is updated and your Iqama will be sent to your sponsor office. Collect and discard the old one immediately. Penalty if you have two Iqamas at the same time even if of any other colleague – Be Careful!
Once all the requirements like Iqama renewal fee, car insurance, valid passport, Saudi Council of Engineers fee, Iqama Funds, Traffic Violations, etc. are cleared then your employer can make Iqama renewal request from Absher system online.
After Iqama renewal one has to visit bank normally to update Iqama status there. Although there is an update system still banks used to call is logical to me as I have just visited NCB Alahli bank yesterday for this cause.
You can clear all these dues and other information by visiting Online Portals
Grace Period for Iqama Renewal
Yes, there is a grace period of only 3 days to renew your Iqama. Let say if your passport is expired then you can go to your Embassy and get an extension stamp to do the Iqama renewal process. Keep in mind that Iqama will not be renewed until you have cleared all the fines like traffic violations. Hence these three days grace time is for you.
Penalty for First Time
After the grace period, 500 SR fine will be imposed for the first time
Penalty for Second Time
1000 SR if delayed again for the second time.
Penalty for Third Time
Deportation of employee and 1000 SR if delayed again for the third time.
Note: These renewal penalties to be paid by the Sponsor, Kafeel or your Employer to Ministry of Labour.
Uses of Iqama
Iqama is the most important documents or card you have in Saudi Arabia. The major uses are;
- Identity across KSA
- Bank Account can be opened
- No need to take a passport all the times
- The hospital will not entertain without Iqama
- Haramain Train service can be availed
- During local flights, ID is required.
- Saptco service can be availed
- Exit Re-Entry can be applied
And so on.
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FAQ about Expiry Iqama
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