The Iqama number is the number of the Iqama card, assigned to expatriates living in Saudi Arabia. In this work or residence visa, there is information about the employee regarding the type of work. Also, contains the details of the employer that has sponsored the entry of the applicant.

In this article, we will find out what the Iqama number is in detail as well as who is eligible to acquire it, and the benefits. Moreover, you will know what the requirements are to obtain it and to verify it after you request it.

What is Iqama number in Saudi Arabia?

iqama number

The Iqama number consists of a 10-digit combination on the Iqama card. Likewise, the number is on the lower central part in front of the document or under the photo of the applicant. In addition, the Iqama card belongs to a residence permit that proves the legal status of a foreigner in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, every citizen of foreign origin residing in the country must have an Iqama. This document serves as identification within the kingdom, making it useful for everyday purposes. As you will see later, the Iqama is useful for various procedures (travel, bank accounts, and more).

Therefore, if you are an expat living in Saudi Arabia, you should have it with you at all times. This is because if the authorities ask for it and you do not have it, you can receive a fine of up to SAR 3000. Apart from the Iqama number Saudi Arabia, your card will contain the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Your employer details
  • Your professional title
  • Issue and expiration date

Benefits of Saudi Iqama number

Having your Iqama number is a must if you are an expatriate in Saudi Arabia due to the demands of the authorities. However, it is not only about that but about the multiple benefits that this residence permit offers. Below, we list the advantages of having said document at your disposal:


As a foreigner with a Saudi Iqama number, you can bring your relatives with you on a visit visa. However, the residence time for said relatives is only 6 months. Likewise, through the Absher service, you can verify the visa application for your dependents.

Also, those who wish to perform Umrah or Hajj can obtain a pilgrimage permit with their Iqama. In the same way, you can apply for a final exit visa as well as check it online or cancel it. Likewise, with your Iqama number, you can apply for an exit/re-entry visa.


When you manage to get Iqama number in Saudi Arabia, you will be able to sponsor your family members or dependents and represent them in legal matters. In the same way, you can add information for a newborn both inside and outside of Saudi Arabia. Likewise, you will be able to send your children to some of the best private English schools in the Kingdom.

Use of transportation

With an Iqama number, you can make use of the modern means of transportation that Saudi Arabia offers. In this case, it includes bus, train, and even SAPTCO services, just by carrying your Iqama. In this way, you can take the opportunity to visit the various tourist attractions that characterize the country.

Government services

If you are a holder of a regular working Iqama number, you can upgrade it to a Saudi Arabia Green Card. Additionally, you can renew your document in the event of the termination of a specific employment contract. Likewise, you can carry out the following government procedures:

  • Get a health insurance card
  • File a report against your Kafeel in case you have submitted a fake Huroob
  • Change your profession through the Iqama and a power of attorney
  • Change sponsor if required, as long as it respects the established terms and conditions
  • Apply for a driving license
  • Perform motor vehicle inspection tests
  • Add funds to make payments for government procedures. The said payments include Iqama renewal, Kafeel transfer, and visa fees (single and multiple), among others.

Sim cards

Thanks to the Iqama number you can request a SIM card for your phone, as well as delete cards that do not belong to you.

Requirements for an Iqama in Saudi Arabia

iqama number

Employers generally have 90 days to initiate the application and have the Iqama number approved. Likewise, the employer must present it one after the arrival of the employee in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the sponsor will need some requirements of the worker as the following list of documents.

  • Copy and original document of the passport of the employee.
  • 2 to 4 color passport-size photos and must have a white background.
  • Passport-size photos of the employer.
  • Submit updated medical checkup reports.
  • Submit the completed Iqama application form.
  • Biometric data and fingerprints taken at the airport by customs officers.
  • Bank receipts for Iqama fees of the new resident (in the first year SAR 500 and SAR 1000 for the two years).
  • Receipt of payment of HDR fees that cost SAR 150.
  • Medical insurance documentation.

Eligibility criteria

Foreign citizens going to work in Saudi Arabia must have a sponsor who issues work permit applications. Likewise, the sponsoring employer must have a valid block visa from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD). On the other hand, the visa has a validity of up to 1 year and you must renew it when the employee needs more time.

On the other hand, the Iqama application documentation must be in order and submitted within 90 days of arrival. Also, the applicant must have a good health history and be over 21 years of age. In addition, the passport of the applicant must have an acceptable validity period and cannot have any criminal record.

In contrast, the government of Saudi Arabia values foreigners with professional skills and experts in scientific areas. Otherwise, when a foreign worker receives the Iqama, they can apply to their relatives. However, the Iqama received by family members (spouse or children) will not be linked to the sponsoring company.

Instead, you must sponsor the Iqama of your relatives by yourself. In addition, the authorities provide the information details of the Iqama of the dependents in the same manner as that of the approved visitor. Nevertheless, the information provided is the one of your family members.


On how to get Iqama number, sponsors must carry out and comply with the requirements and procedures that the permit requires. Therefore, as a first step, the employer must have a valid MLSD block visa to start the application. When the authorities approve the application, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs KSA gives the sponsor an authorization number and a domain.

Additionally, the authorization allows the employer to apply for a work permit on behalf of the worker in the country of residence. Moreover, you must carry out the process at the headquarters of the corresponding Saudi diplomatic mission. On the other hand, the worker must present a medical certificate to process the work permit.

Then, when you receive the work visa, you can arrive in Saudi Arabia and start working at the sponsoring company. In the same way, the employer must apply the Iqama within 90 days after the arrival of the foreign worker. Likewise, you must submit the applications for work and Iqama numbers to the MLSD.

In addition, for the processing of the Iqama application, the worker will again be asked for a medical check-up at a clinic assigned by the KSA. Additionally, you must adjust the report generated to the processing of the application. Likewise, the application approval process takes about 2 weeks.

Sponsorship and cancellation of the Iqama

On the other hand, after the foreign employee obtains the Iqama, he can sponsor the family to accompany him. Also, the employer of the worker cannot sponsor the process for the Iqama of relatives of the said worker. In this case, the process will be presented as Iqama for dependents, by the foreign applicant.

Otherwise, when the employee wishes to leave the country during the period of validity of the Iqama, the companies must take care of the corresponding procedures. Therefore, the company must obtain an exit and entry permit from the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia. In the same way, employers can terminate the term of the Iqama at any time.

Also, when the employer ends the period of the Iqama of the worker, the employee must do the same with one of the dependents sponsored.

Additional reminders

  • To search for the status of the Iqama, the bearer must go to the web portal of the application and use the Iqama number.
  • When the person loses the Iqama card, they must report it within 24 hours to avoid a fine.
  • Family members of the applicant who work without the Iqama for dependents will receive a fine of SAR 1,000. Likewise, the fine can be raised to SAR 2,000 or SAR 3,000 for a second or third offense.
  • There may be charges such as fines or even imprisonment and deportation for exceeding the time frame provided by the work permit or visit visa.
  • The Iqama is to be renewed every year accounts in Saudi Arabia and public services will be stopped until proof of renewal is presented.
  • Male relatives over 18 years of age cannot receive an Iqama as a dependent of the applicant.
  • The worker has the right to the Iqama that belongs to him. Likewise, you must cancel the Iqama of the dependents.

How to Check Iqama Number Online

To know the expiration and renewal dates you can check your Iqama online, as follows:

  • Go to the official site of the Ministry of the Interior, Saudi Arabia
  • appears here, From the menu tab between PASSPORT
  • You will be redirected to the Absher portal.
  • Create a new account and log in
  • Enter mobile verification code
  • Then, check your Iqama by entering the number of it and the code that was generated from a random image. Finally, select the VIEW option below
  • Next, the validity status can be seen on the same page

Iqama tax in Saudi Arabia

The employer has the responsibility to fully cover all the expenses generated for both the Iqama and the work permit. Also, the employer can request that the employer cancel the repatriation tickets if the employment contract is terminated.

On the other hand, the government requires an expatriation tax, plus the law does not oblige the employer to pay the fee. This means that it will depend on the type of contract signed between the employee and the employer.

As of July 1, 2020, the tax to be paid by expatriates is 800 SAR per month for each worker. Also per dependent, the amount is 400 SAR per month. Thus, the rate is subject to the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the economy. This is by supporting small businesses as well as developing job opportunities for locals.

What is the cost of getting an Iqama?

Saudi Arabia labor law states that employers must be responsible for each fee related to the Iqama and work permit. Likewise, the employer must take care of the tickets and procedures for the return of the foreign worker in case of dismissal. On the other hand, companies renew the Iqama number each year with the payment of the corresponding fee.

On the other hand, medium and large companies must pay a fee of SAR 8400 per year for the renewal of the Iqama. In addition, they must pay medical insurance rates that go up to SAR 9,750 a year. Otherwise, for small companies, the fee for renewals or work permits may be lower.

Otherwise, companies that have fewer Saudi workers than they need may charge a higher-than-conventional rate.

The Iqama number is a combination of numbers that a foreigner receives on his work or residence visa to attest to his presence in the country. Without this visa, a foreign employee will have countless problems working or residing in the country.

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