The new identity cards which have been developed for the expat population in Saudi Arabia will be replacing the currently existing residence permits, also known as Iqama. The Passport Department’s Assistant Director General stated that the new identity cards for the expats are foolproof and will be impossible to forge. It is expected that the new identity cards will be issued to the expatriates starting next year. The new expat ID cards will be issued electronically and will be renewed through the Abshir or the Muqeem E – Services, which will be required every 5 years. The Assistant Director General Colonel Khaled Bin Hamad Al Saikhan stated while talking to the media this Wednesday.
The Assistant Director General also stated that the cards will remain the same, while only the validity of the card will be renewed in their systems. Starting from the next year all of the current Iqamas which are in possession of the Expatriates in the Kingdom will be withdrawn as and when they are submitted for a transfer request or request for renewal, stated A. D. G. Col. Al Saikhan. The Colonel also stated that all of the current iqamas will only be valid for one additional year after which all of the Iqamas will be completely replaced by the new forgery proof identity cards for expatriates. A. D. G. Colonel Al Saikhan stated that the reason that this new identity card for expatriates will be so impossible to forge or tamper will be that the card will have several unique features which will differentiate authentic cards to the fake or forged ones.
The annual fee which is set for the issuance or renewal of the identity card will remain the same; however the expatriates will have to pay the collective fee for five years in one installment at the time of application. Currently the fee for the issuance or a one year renewal of iqama for those expatriated working in establishments or a company is set at SAR 650. The fee for the issuance or a one year renewal for any dependents above the age of 18 is set at SAR 500. The fee for the issuance of iqama for house help is set at SAR 600 while a one year renewal is set at SAR 350.
The Colonel added that after the first five years all ID cards issued to the expats working in Saudi Arabia will be renewed automatically according to the wish of the employer. Those expats who have the new ID cards will not have to visit the Jawazat for renewal and they will also not have to update their postal addresses.
The new identity cards for the expatriates has been aimed to realize or materialize the concept of an E Government, which would help by saving the time as well as the cost of the printing which is required in the paperwork, and will also help regularize the expatriates presence electronically.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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