Check Iqama Status Online – Immigrants are an important part of any country’s population. Every year there are almost millions of individuals who migrate from one place to another, some looking for food and shelter while others to make a living for themselves. In most countries, the government has devised a plan to cater to the needs of the immigrants and keep a balance between the locals and the immigrants.
- 1 Saudi Arabia Immigrant System
- 2 What is Iqama?
- 3 Why Iqama is Mandatory?
- 4 How to Get Iqama & What Documents Are Required?
- 5 How to Check Iqama Status Online Using Absher Account?
- 6 How to Get Work Visa from Saudi Embassy – Step by Step Guide for Employer & Sponser
- 7 How partnering with a local employer can help with the process?
- 8 Important things to keep in mind when it comes to Iqama
- 9 Conclusion
Saudi Arabia Immigrant System
Like many, Saudi Arabia has also come up with an immigration system that allows them to monitor everything and make sure that the process runs smoothly. In most parts around the world, a person needs a visa or a permit to work or reside in a foreign land. Like that, the work permit that the foreigners get in Saudi Arabia is called Iqama.
If you are in KSA, then you probably know a bit about it already. But we understand that the whole process can be quite tricky and confusing which can leave one devasted when it comes to seeking employment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
So, on this website, we are going to be discussing all the aspects of Iqama. You will get the answer to them each and every question that arises in your mind. For instance,
- What is Iqama?
- How to Check Iqama Status?
- How to Check Iqama Expiry Date?
- How to Check Iqama Validity?
- How to do Renewal of Iqama?
- What Iqama Renewal Fees 2020?
- Check Iqama Application Process?
- How to Create & Activate Absher Account?
- How to get Iqama of Newborn baby?
- How to Mosassa Status Green, Yellow, or Red? What does it mean?
What is Iqama?
The term Iqama is used for the work permit provided to expat’s in Saudi Arabia which allows them to legally live and work in the Kingdom. In simple terms, Iqama is your identity card in KSA and without it, you wouldn’t have an identity and would be considered as an illegal immigrant which is why it is important that you always keep your Iqama card with you while you are staying in Saudi Arabia.
People often fail to understand the importance of Iqama. Just like you need your national identity card in your own country, Iqama is your identity card in KSA.
But since KSA is quite strict about its immigrant policies, rules and regulations thus you won’t be able to access anything or do any major transaction without acquiring the Iqama from your company, sponsor, kafeel.
Why Iqama is Mandatory?
Saudi Arabia is a huge kingdom with a population of around roughly 32 million out of which around 12 million are immigrants. According to the analysis done, more than 80% of the employed individuals in the kingdom are foreigners which is why the government tends to come up with better and enhanced policies in order to cater to the needs of the economy and the immigrants.
It might seem as if foreigners are the only ones working in the country but that is not how it works. For an immigrant to get a job in the kingdom, he or she needs to be sponsored by a local employee which keeps the balance between the workforce. Most of the major businesses running in the kingdom are run by locals which makes them economically strong and stable.
How to Get Iqama & What Documents Are Required?
Before one goes through any kind of application process, it is important to know what documents you will be needing so that you can have them all in place beforehand so that you don’t have to go through any hassle during the process which will lead to delays. So here is the list of documents that you will be needing in order to apply for Iqama.
- Your passport (your original and copies)
- Completed iqama application form
- 2 passport-sized pictures of your employer
- 2 passport-sized pictures of yourself
- Health exam report
- Health insurance
These are the basic requirements for the application process to go through. Once you have submitted the application form with the documents, the person-in-charge of your application will get in touch with you and if needed, will ask you for the additional documents that he might need in order to get your application in process.
How to Check Iqama Status Online Using Absher Account?
The thing about Iqama is that it is only applicable for one year. If you wish to continue working in the country after that on a long term basis, then you will need to get it renewed every year. The process is quite simple, but the problem is that the new policy that was launched recently called the Jawazat doesn’t print your Iqama status and expiry date on the Iqama card anymore which makes it hard for the immigrants to keep track of it all.
But not to worry anymore because you can now check it only on the portal specifically created by the Ministry of Interior KSA for the immigrants to track their status and expiry dates. The portal is called Absher and in order to check your expiry date, you will need the following two things;
- Your Iqama Number
- An Absher Account
You will be provided with both on successful approval of your Iqama application. Let us go and look at the steps that you will need to follow in order to access your Absher account and check your Iqama status and expiry date.
The Absher portal can be accessed in two different ways. You can either download the application on your smartphone or you can simply access the portal via the official website. We will be looking at the website process as everyone wouldn’t want to download the app.
- Navigate to the official website of Absher or you can simply click on here at absher.sa
- The text on the site will be displayed in two languages, Arabic and English. So, if you don’t know Arabic, you can always select English for easy understanding.
- Now a few options will be displayed on your screen saying Individual, business, etc. Since you are an individual looking for your iqama status thus click on the ‘Individual’ option on the screen.
- Now you will be directed to a login page where you will be required to enter your username and password in order to access your account.
- Fill in the required fields on the page and click on log in to proceed with the process.
- You will automatically receive a 4-digit unique code on your mobile.
- Enter the code in the field displayed on the screen asking for it and hit enter.
- Once verified, you will be forwarded to a page with multiple options all of which are services offered by the portal to the user.
- Out of all, you will need to scroll down a bit and look for the one stating ‘Query Iqama Expiry Service’.
- Click on that option and you will be directed to a new page.
- Now enter your Iqama number along with the image code in the respective fields and hit View.
- Once successful, the portal will display your Iqama status along with the expiry date.
If the bar showing the status is in green, then it means that your Iqama is still valid and active but in case it is in red then you need to start worrying as it has expired, and you need to get it renewed as soon as possible in order to face a lower fine. A date will also be displayed in the bar which is equally your expiry date so keep that in mind for future purposes.
How to Get Work Visa from Saudi Embassy – Step by Step Guide for Employer & Sponser
The thing that differentiates Iqama from the regular work permit is that in KSA, the employer who sponsored the foreign employee must handle everything on his own. In simple terms, the entire process of getting the Iqama falls on the employer and not the employee himself. Here is how the process goes and what roles you and your employer need to play.
- The very first thing you need to do is, sign the employment agreement with your local employer.
- Once the agreement is signed and stamped, your employer needs to apply for the Block Visa in the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Labor and Social Development for approval.
Note – Block Visa is a document that allows the local business partners to sponsor a foreign employee.
- Once the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Labor and Social Development approves the Block Visa, the employer needs to get the Visa Authorization number along with the Power of Attorney from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to apply for the work visa.
- Once the employer has obtained the required documents, the employee needs to apply at the KSA Embassy in the residing country for a work visa using the documentation provided by the employer.
- The employee will be asked to go through a medical exam just to be sure that the individuals are healthy enough for traveling and doesn’t carry any of the contagious diseases.
- Once the entire procedure is completed and your application is approved, you can now enter the Kingdom legally and work there as well.
- But that is not where it all ends. In your entry in the KSA, you will need to submit your work permit along with the Iqama to the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Labor and Social Development within 90 days of arrival.
- You will be required to submit a few documents along with your passport and pictures in order to complete your iqama process and get you an iqama identity card which will contain your information like your national identity card.
- You will also be asked to go through another medical exam done by the local KSA health center for assurance which needs to be attached to your Iqama application that you submit to the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
And that is it. If you fulfill all the requirements, your application should be processed and approved within two weeks and you will receive it by then as well.
How partnering with a local employer can help with the process?
KSA is very strict in terms of immigration policies and they often take months to get the process done which makes it quite time-consuming and daunting at times as well especially if you are handling everything on your own. Individuals often get employment offers before they apply for iqama but there are those as well who wish to start their own business entity in the country.
In such a case, having a local partner with you can help a lot. Instead of months, you can have your business running within days without much of a hassle as the locals would be involved and the KSA government cater to the needs of their locals.
So, in order to start your very own legal business entity in the kingdom, partner with a local business owner and ask him to run it for you in the beginning and hire local employees. In the legal books, you will be the legal owner of the entity, but it would be run by a local.
So, while to get your iqama process complete, you can already have a running business in a process to be a step ahead and take charge of everything. Plus, the local partner will have more insight into the business industry in the country and will help you with the whole iqama process as well and hopefully, it would go smoothly.
Important things to keep in mind when it comes to Iqama
Like the other visa and permit regulations, there are some important aspects that you need to keep in mind when it comes to Iqama as the Saudi government is very strict when it comes to rules and regulations. On breaking, you are fined heavily in respect of how much you earn and stuff. So here is the list of things that you know about Iqama if you are applying for one or already have one.
- There are different types of Iqama. For a work iqama, you will need a signed and accepted employment agreement whereas, in the case of spousal iqama, you will need to provide proof of a legal marriage in form of a contract or something.
- The responsibility of obtaining an iqama falls in the shoulders of an employee but at the same time, it also gives him the power of attorney which means that he has the right to cancel your iqama at any time without any legal notice or anything which will lead you existing the country. But that is not all. If you have dependents who also obtained iqama on the behalf of your employment, then your iqama will also expire along with yours.
- Your employer must always have your residence permit in case you as the employee of the company needs to travel outside the kingdom. In such a case, you will be provided with the exit re-entry visa which your employer needs to get for you as well.
- If you get an iqama and can have your family members along with you under the household resident permit, then they would not be allowed to get employed until the concerned authorities allow them too.
- Males who entered the country on household resident permits on behalf of their father’s iqama would not be able to get the same legal status as they turn 18. Since they would be considered as legal adults thus would require their own special iqama in order to stay in the kingdom.
- Your employer is required to renew your iqama three days before it expires. On expiration, you will be finding around SAR 500 or even more in case you delay the process which will lead to a double renewal fee along with the penalty imposed.
- KSA government is very strict in terms of regulations so make sure that you don’t break any of the rules as it could lead to cancelation of your iqama which will force you to leave the country immediately.
Iqama is a very important document for foreigners living in KSA. Individuals looking for employment in the Kingdome need to go through a huge process in order to get their iqama but before that one needs to find any sort of employment as well.
You need to keep in mind that finding an employer to sponsor you doesn’t ensure your iqama as the authorities have a fixed number for such block visas and only allow a few out of many.
So, don’t get your hopes up just yet because the process needs to be fully approved for you to get your iqama. Both you and your employer need to play the part fully in order to get a successful iqama.