Iqama is a legal document to work and live in Saudi Arabia for expatriates. After reaching into the kingdom, the first application submitted to Jawazat is for the iqama issuance. So it is important to check new iqama issued or not.
Because, without the residence permit, an expat has limited movements, no bank account and accommodation restrictions, etc.
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how to check new iqama issued or not
The procedure to obtain iqama starts at the airport as soon as an ex-pat enters KSA. At the time of immigration, the authorities write a 10-digit code on the passport by hand. This code is known as ‘Border Number‘. It is the very first step and is done immediately.
What does the border number do?
The border number is just like a temporary id but it is not an iqama number. While issuing iqama, the authorities recognize the applicant through it as it provides all the information like entry date, name, nationality, date of birth, kafeel or the company name, etc.
You can check iqama status with border number Once you have it, the next step begins with a medical test.
Before you can check whether your iqama status issued or not, you must undergo a medical test. A medical checkup in the home country is required for obtaining a work visa or family visa. but to get iqama, a medical test in Saudi Arabia is a must.
If you fail, the authorities will send you back to your country immediately. It is the responsibility of the Kafeel, company, to immediately conduct the medical at approved medical centers. A delay means that the application for iqama is also delayed.
Now, as the Jawazat operates the system electronically, so the hospital will prepare the report and send it to the concerned authorities in a day or two. After that, the next step starts which is the submission of the documents.
Pay The Iqama Fees.
Authorities inform the employer about the medical report. Once it is done, the employer has to pay the iqama fees.
These include maktab amal fee, medical insurance, iqama fee, and an annual levy. To pay the required fees, the employer is responsible. However, sometimes, the fee payment is delayed which also causes a delay in the submission of the iqama application. And eventually results in a delay in the issuance of the iqama.
Submit The Required Documents In Jawazat.
After paying the said fees, the next step is to submit the documents to Jawazat. The employer may ask you to provide 2 or 3 ‘passport size’ pictures with a white background. Mostly the recruiting agencies advise keeping the pictures when traveling to KSA.
To provide the employer pictures. And the rest of the process will conduct between the employer and the Jawazat. In normal circumstances, jawazat issues iqama within 2 weeks. But in some cases, the delay can be as long as 6 months.
If it is an abnormal delay then ask your employer about the problem. It can be due to many factors like the company being in the red category of Nitaqat system. Or, non-payment of the fees is another factor.
Another delay reason, which is very uncommon, can be the security clearance. But it is almost not an issue.
As soon as the iqama issues, you are free to move anywhere within the kingdom, open a bank account, and purchase a sim card in your name. You are allowed to do whatever is legal in the Kingdom.
Check Iqama Expiry Date
Congrats! you get the iqama. But, you notice that the expiry date is not written on the iqama card. So now you wonder if it is issued for a few months, a year or two?
Well, you can check iqama expiry very easily. There are two methods to do that. Get your hands on both of them.