Sunday, 20 April 2014

What to do if Iqama is Lost?

Importance of Iqama in Saudi Arabia does not need an introduction to be explained. If you are living in Saudi Arabia, you already know that everything is associated with Iqama. If you are caught without having Iqama in your pocket, you will be fined up to SR 3,000 and can be deported from Saudi Arabia. If you want to know about the fines imposed in cases when you are caught without Iqama, please read this article. Ministry of Interior has also issued some guidelines and Tips for expatriates living in Saudi Arabia. I personally think that every expatriate should read these guidelines at least once. "Tips by MOI for Expats holding Iqama"

In this article, I will be explaining the procedure you need to adopt in case iqama is lost. This procedure is simple theoretically but practically very difficult. I also want to mention another important point here; you should report the case of lost iqama immediately. I have seen some expatriates who wait for the expiry of their Iqama and think that upon renewal, they will get new Iqama but it is not the case in Saudi Arabia. In order to get renewed iqama, you need to surrender your existing Iqama to Jawazat. You should always keep your contact details in the wallet where you keep your Iqama. Sometimes Iqama is lost and someone else finds it. If you have your contact details in it, at least he can contact you and return back your precious thing to you.

Step by Step Procedure in case of Lost Iqama
  1. First and most important step is to inform your sponsor about lost Iqama. But before doing this, check your Iqama in all the possible locations. Again, it is not very simple process to claim back your Iqama.
  2. Now, you need to report to the police about the lost Iqama. If you will go yourself, you will be facing many difficulties in registering the report. Frankly speaking, they will never register your report. Ask your Kafeel or Government Relations Officer (GRO) of your company to come with you for this purpose. GRO is always Saudi national with some approach in higher authorities, he will register the report. In order to register the report, you will have to write an application explaining how the iqama is lost. This application must be in Arabic.
  • Fee for the loss of Iqama is SR 1,000/- for the first time, SR 2,000 and SR 3,000/- for the second and third time respectively.
  • As per news published on Arab News at March 24, 2014, if Iqama is stolen and it is reported within 24 hours to the police, the fine of SR 1,000/- will be waived off. However, if you have experienced this, you must know that police never register the case on the first day. You will have to go there several times to register your report. It means, you are unlikely to get benefited from this waiver.

  • Now next step is Jawazat. Your Kafeel or GRO will have to go to Jawazat and write a letter in Arabic. In this application, he needs to explain how Iqama was lost and where it was lost. Although you have done this activity at police station but you still have to mention it here as well. So make sure that the letter written by Kafeel or GRO has both of these features in it. This letter must be on the letterhead of the Sponsor, duly signed by the Chamber of Commerce. We have listed down some important points for attestation of documents from Chamber of Commerce. I would recommend you to read them before personally visiting chamber of commerce.
  • If the remaining Iqama period is one year or less than this, you will also have to one year Iqama fee i.e. SR 500/-. You can make this payment from your internet banking account.

  • Kafeel or GRO has to submit this written application along with police report, proof of payment of fine (SR 1,000) and fee (SR 500), 2 photographs, copy of passport, copy of lost Iqama and a filled form to Jawazat.
  • If everything goes fine, your Kafeel can get the print of new Iqama on the same day or next day of submission of all these documents.

  • Procedure if Dependent’s Iqama is Lost
    • You need to write a letter (in Arabic) addressing to Jawazat that iqama has been lost, duly signed by the sponsor and the company official along with 2 forms.
    • In one of the forms the dependent fingerprint impression to be made + copy of Sponsor Iqama, Copy of the Dependent iqama (if available), and Copy of Passport.
    • If the dependent is Female take her to Jawazat Ladies section, they will check the identity. Once it is done take the relevant document and go to main counter and get the T Counter Token and handover the document.
    • Within no time they will give take a printout of the new iqama copy.
    • There is NO PENALTY for dependent iqama
    • We have already explained in another article about the procedure you need to adopt for the replacement of Damaged Iqama.


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