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Iqama Renewal in Saudi Arabia: Requirements, Fees, and Complete Guide

Saudi Arabia- iqama

Table of Contents

1. What is Iqama?

Iqama, also known as a residency permit, is an official document issued by the Saudi Arabian government to foreign nationals who wish to live and work in the country. It is a crucial document that provides legal residency status to expatriates and is directly tied to their employment contract.

2. Iqama Renewal:

The Iqama is issued for a specific period, which typically corresponds to the duration of the employment contract. To continue residing and working legally in Saudi Arabia, expatriates need to renew their Iqama before its expiration.

3. Requirements for Iqama Renewal:

To renew the Iqama, the expatriate must meet certain requirements, which may include:

  • Paying the Iqama renewal fees
  • Paying the fee for the work permit (Maktab Amal fees)
  • Settling any outstanding traffic fines
  • Having a valid health insurance policy
  • Paying the dependent fee (if applicable, for sponsoring family members)

4. Iqama Renewal Fees (2023):

The Iqama renewal fees may vary depending on the duration chosen. The base fee for issuance or renewal of the Iqama is SAR 650. However, employers can now choose different instalments based on the desired duration:

  • One-year validity fee: SAR 650
  • 3-month validity fee: SAR 163
  • 6-month validity fee: SAR 325
  • 9-month validity fee: SAR 488

In addition to the Iqama fee, employers are also required to pay for the work permit. The work permit fee is SAR 800 per month, and it must be paid for a minimum of three months at a time. The fee will be as follows:

  • 3-month fee: SAR 2,400
  • 6-month fee: SAR 4,800
  • 9-month fee: SAR 7,200
  • Yearly fee: SAR 9,600

For expatriates sponsoring dependents in Saudi Arabia, there is an additional fee for each dependent. The fee for each dependent is SAR 400 per month. Employers can choose to pay this fee every 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.

5. Iqama Renewal Process using Muqeem Portal:

The Iqama renewal process has been made easier with online procedures. Employers are responsible for renewing their employees’ Iqamas and paying the renewal fees. The steps for Iqama renewal are as follows:

  • Visit the official Muqeem portal (available in both Arabic and English).
  • Log in using the employer’s credentials.
  • Click on “Electronic Transactions.”
  • Select “Iqama Renewal.”
  • Enter the security code received on the mobile.
  • Enter the Iqama number.
  • Choose the desired Iqama duration (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  • Click on “Submit.”
  • The Iqama will be automatically renewed for the chosen period.

6. Penalties for Late Iqama Renewal:

It is crucial to renew the Iqama before its expiry date. Failure to do so will result in fines for late renewal. The fines are as follows:

  • First-time late renewal: Fine of SAR 500
  • Second-time late renewal: Fine of SAR 1,000
  • Third-time late renewal: Risk of deportation

7. Levy Exemptions for Small Businesses:

Companies with less than nine employees (including at least one Saudi national) are exempt from foreign worker levy for up to two workers until March 2024. If the small business hires another Saudi national in addition to the existing one, the exemption increases to four workers.

III. Iqama Renewal Process in Saudi Arabia:

Renewing your Iqama in Saudi Arabia is an essential process to maintain your legal residency and work status. It is crucial to be aware of the requirements and the step-by-step process for smooth renewal.

III.1 Requirements for Iqama Renewal:

Before beginning the Iqama renewal process, you need to ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • Iqama Renewal Fees: Pay the required Iqama renewal fees, which depend on the chosen duration (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  • Work Permit Fee: Your employer must also pay the work permit fee (Maktab Amal fees), which is SAR 800 per month and should be paid for a minimum of three months.
  • Clear Traffic Fines: If you have any outstanding traffic fines, settle them before proceeding with the renewal.
  • Valid Health Insurance: Ensure you have valid health insurance coverage, as it is a mandatory requirement for Iqama renewal.
  • Dependent Fee (if applicable): If you sponsor any dependents in Saudi Arabia, you must pay the dependent levy for each member.

If you are unsure about any potential traffic fines, you can check your fines on your identity card to determine the amount you need to pay.

III.2 Who Should Renew Your Iqama:

As an employee in Saudi Arabia, it is the responsibility of your employer (company) to renew your Iqama. The employer must initiate the renewal process and pay the necessary fees. As an employee, you do not need to fill out an application form or pay for the renewal yourself. However, employees with dependents under their sponsorship must ensure the payment of the dependent fee.

If your employer refuses to renew your Iqama or pay for it, this is not allowed and may be considered a labor issue. In such cases, you have the right to file a complaint regarding this matter.

III.3 Step-by-step Process to Renew Iqama:

The Iqama renewal process has been made more accessible through online procedures. Employers can now renew Iqama up to 6 months in advance, even if the expatriate is outside Saudi Arabia. Here are the steps your employer should follow to renew your Iqama:

  1. Visit Muqeem’s Official Portal: Go to the Muqeem portal (https://muqeem.sa/#/en) to access the online services.
  2. Language Selection: Change the language to English by clicking the corresponding icon on the top of the page.
  3. Log In: Your employer should log in using their credentials (username and password).
  4. Electronic Transactions: Click on “Electronic Transactions” from the menu options.
  5. Select Iqama Renewal: Choose “Iqama Renewal” from the available options.
  6. Enter Security Code: Enter the security code received on the registered mobile number for verification.
  7. Provide Iqama Number: Enter your Iqama number when prompted.
  8. Choose Duration: Select the desired Iqama duration from the available options (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  9. Submit: Click on “Submit” to proceed with the renewal.
  10. Automatic Renewal: After successful submission, your Iqama will be automatically renewed for the chosen duration.

III.4 Consequences of Not Renewing Iqama on Time:

It is essential to renew your Iqama three days before its expiry date. If you fail to renew it on time, you will be subject to fines based on the number of days of delay:

  • First-time late renewal: Fine of SAR 500
  • Second-time late renewal: Fine of SAR 1,000
  • Third-time late renewal: Risk of deportation

If you incur a fine for late renewal, your employer must visit a Jawazat office to pay the delay fine and proceed with the renewal. However, if you plan to leave Saudi Arabia, you must request your employer to cancel your work permit and residency.

It is vital that your employer does not delay the visa cancellation process, as any delays may necessitate seeking external support or resolution.

Understanding the Iqama renewal process and complying with the rules and regulations set by the Saudi government is essential for both employees and employers to ensure a smooth renewal process and legal residency status in Saudi Arabia.

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Written by Saleh wasim

Blogger who writes topics such as Employment, News, travel, sports, events and life in Gulf.

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