Saudi Arabia: Renewal of Iqama

Until one has received their iqama (official identity card depicting an individual as a resident of the Kingdom) little can be achieved.  Without an iqama, one cannot open a bank account, get any loans, buy a car, rent a place to live or most other things associated with settling down to reside in a new location.  The employer “should” be the one taking the initiative to ensure that an employee receives his/her iqama in an expedited manner.  However, it is usually the responsibility of the employee to be aware of when the iqama is about to expire and initiating the action to renew the iqama.  I suggest that one make a note in whatever notetaking system works best for them or place a big highlight on the calendar no less than 45 days prior to when the iqama is to expire.  This will remind you of when to begin the process for renewal of the iqama which can take an average of 30 days.  This is a critical action as the Kingdom does not look favorably on expats who have allowed their iqamas to expire without having initiated the renewal process in advance.


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