Not long ago, Iqama card used to be issued for one year only. Every year Iqama holders had to exchange the Iqama card with the new card. In the year 2016, this procedure was changed. Jawazat announced that the Iqama card will be issued for 5 years with the Iqama expiry date written on the face of Iqama after 5 years. After one year of running this successfully, now Jawazat has started issuing Iqama Cards without Iqama Expiry Date. Does it mean that the Iqama is issued for an indefinite period? Continue reading to know about it.
Iqama is everything for expatriate living in Saudi Arabia. Expatriates take care of Iqama more than they take care of their wallet or money. Iqama is residence permit to live in Saudi Arabia. It is the requirement of law upon each expatriate living in Saudi Arabia to keep Iqama with him to prove legality of stay in Saudi Arabia. Expatriate need Iqama everywhere, from taking an appointment from the private doctor to visiting government department for official work. Absence of renewed Iqama means that your stay in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not legal. It is very important to know the details stated on your Iqama. Recommended: Knowing Details on Iqama: 12 Details your Iqama/Muqeem card contains
As we have stated in the beginning, the Iqama Expiry Date has been removed from the newly issued cards. In fact, it is replaced by the Iqama Issuance date which was not mentioned on the Iqama earlier. The date of issue of iqama card is written in Arabic according to the Hijri calendar. You can convert this date to the Gregorian calendar very easily. However, it is important to mention here that now the date of expiry is no more printed on Iqama but it does not mean that there is no expiry date of your iqama. If you want to check the real date of expiry of your Iqama, follow the instructions given in this link “How to Check Iqama Expiry Date Online?”
There is another change made in the Iqama recently. The Labor Card Number which used to be written on Iqama has been removed altogether. The labor card is issued to every employee by Ministry of Labor. Employer has to pay the famous SR 2,400/- fee every year to renew this labor card. Now, this fee will be increased to SR 4,800 starting from the beginning of July 2018.
You must be thinking if you have to do anything to replace your old iqama with the new one? Well, the answer is absolutely NO. If your Iqama Card is stating an expiry date of 5 years, you don’t have to do anything. You will replace it at the time of card expiry date. In this way, they have reduced the excessive burden on Jawazat for replacing iqamas every year or every 5 years.
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