How to renew Iqama in Saudi Arabia

How to renew Iqama in Saudi Arabia?

Introduction: Renew Iqama

Renewing your Iqama in Saudi Arabia is a crucial task for expatriates. The Iqama, a residency permit, is your ticket to living and working in Saudi Arabia. To avoid fines and legal hassles, it’s vital to understand how to renew it.

In this simple guide, we’ll walk you through the easy steps to renewing your Iqama in Saudi Arabia. We’ll also delve into specific topics, such as renewing Iqama for 3 months, paying Iqama renewal fees online in 2023, and the possibility of renewing Iqama while an expatriate is outside of KSA. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to navigate the Iqama renewal process efficiently and stay compliant with Saudi regulations.

Additionally, we’ll provide essential context about what Iqama is, its various types, and how to get an Iqama. Whether you’re an expatriate residing in Saudi Arabia or planning to move to the country, this guide will serve as a valuable resource to ensure you have the necessary information about renew Iqama in Saudi Arabia.

Now, let’s begin our journey into the world of Iqama renewal in Saudi Arabia, starting with a brief overview of Iqama and its significance in the lives of expatriates.

Understanding Iqama Renewal in KSA

Before we dive into the specifics of renewing your Iqama in Saudi Arabia, let’s briefly explain what an Iqama is and why it’s essential to renew it on time.

An Iqama, often called a residency permit, is a paper the Saudi government gives you. It’s like your official permission slip to live and work in the kingdom. Iqamah have a limited validity, usually ranging from one to five years, and must be renewed before their expiration date to maintain an individual’s legal status in the country.

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Renew Iqama is not just a bureaucratic process; it’s a critical aspect of expatriate life in Saudi Arabia. If you don’t renew your Iqama when you should, you could face serious problems like fines, penalties, and even being sent back to your home country.

New Rules for Iqama Renewal in Saudi Arabia

In recent updates regarding Iqama renewal, there are two noteworthy changes that have eased the process:

  • Iqama Renewal in Advance: One significant change is that Iqama renewal can now be initiated up to 6 months in advance. This allows expatriates more flexibility and time to ensure their Iqama remains valid.
  • Renewal from Outside Saudi Arabia: Another important change is the ability to renew Iqama for expatriates who are outside Saudi Arabia. This flexibility is especially helpful for people who might have to go on trips or study in other countries.

Penalty for Expired Iqama

In the event that an Iqama expires and is not renewed within three days of its expiration, certain penalties are imposed as per Saudi regulations. It’s crucial for both employers and expatriates to be aware of these penalties and ensure timely Iqama renewal.

  1. First Time: A fine of SR 500 is levied.
  2. Second Time: A fine of SR 1,000 is imposed.
  3. Third Time: Expatriates face the serious consequence of deportation.
renew iqama: Penalty for Expired Iqama

These penalties are significant and can have adverse effects on expatriates’ legal status in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is incumbent upon employers and expatriates alike to ensure timely Iqama renewal to avoid these penalties and maintain legal status in the country.

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Terms for Iqama Renewal Under a Kafeel (Sponsor)

When an expatriate in Saudi Arabia seeks to renew their Iqama (residence permit) under the supervision of their Kafeel (sponsor), certain terms and conditions must be met to ensure a successful renewal process. These terms include:

  1. Payment for the Desired Renewal Period: Before initiating the renewal process, it is essential to pay all applicable fees, including the MOI Iqama fee, work permit fee, and dependent fee (if relevant), for the chosen renewal duration (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  1. Clearance of Traffic Violations: The expatriate should not have any unpaid traffic violations, as this can hinder the renewal process. Any outstanding fines should be settled before proceeding.
  1. Valid Passport: The expatriate’s passport must remain valid throughout the renewal period. It is crucial to ensure that the passport is up-to-date to avoid any issues during the renewal process.
  1. Attendance Compliance: The expatriate should remain compliant with attendance requirements at their workplace or any other obligations. Compliance with attendance rules is vital for a successful renewal.
  1. Fingerprint and Photo Registration: Both the expatriate and their family members (if over 6 years old) should have their fingerprints and photos registered in the Absher system. This step is essential for smooth processing.
  1. Separate Passports for Family Members: Each family member should have a separate passport. Family members should not be included in the expatriate’s passport to meet the renewal requirements.

Meeting these terms and conditions is crucial when an expatriate renews their Iqama under the supervision of their Kafeel or sponsor. It is a collaborative effort between the expatriate and the sponsor to ensure compliance with these requirements for a successful and legally sound Iqama renewal process.

Section 2: Iqama Renewal Process

Now, let’s explore the step-by-step process of renewing your Iqama in Saudi Arabia. This process applies to most expatriates, but please note that specific requirements may vary based on your situation, such as your profession or sponsorship.

1. Eligibility for Renewal

Before proceeding with the renewal process, ensure that you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Payment of the Iqama renewal fee.
  2. Payment of any dependent fees, if applicable.
  3. Valid health insurance.
  4. Active professional memberships, such as SOCPA for accountants, SCFHS for medical staff, and SCE for engineers and technicians.
  5. HIV/AIDS test (for specific nationalities only).
  6. The passport must be valid at the time of renewal.
  7. You should be physically present in Saudi Arabia.
  8. Make sure you don’t get marked as missing from work.

2. Renewal Procedure

Follow these steps to renew your Iqama card:

  1. Log in to the Absher platform using your username or ID number and password.
  2. We’ll send a text to your phone number that we have on file.
  3. Access the main page of Absher services.
  4. Navigate to “E-services” and select “Sponsored services.”
  5. Choose “Renewing Iqama” from the list of available services.
  6. Read and follow the service instructions.
  7. Select the worker whose residency permit you want to renew.
  8. Choose the desired renewal period (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  9. Confirm the accuracy of the entered information.
  10. Click “Renew Iqama.”
  11. Once you’ve finished renewing your Iqama, you’ll receive a confirmation of your successful renewal, You’ll get a message saying your Iqama has been renewed successfully.. This confirmation is essential to ensure your legal status in Saudi Arabia remains valid.
  12. Checking Iqama Expiry Date: It’s crucial to stay informed about your Iqama’s expiry date. You can conveniently check this information on your Absher account, which is an online platform that provides various services related to residency and legal matters in Saudi Arabia.
  13. Renewing Iqama Card: If you find that your Iqama card is approaching its expiry date, it’s advisable to visit the Jawazat, the General Directorate of Passports in Saudi Arabia, to obtain a new card. However, if your existing Iqama card does not have the expiry date printed on it, there is no need to replace it until the expiration date is indicated.

Renewal Fees

Renewing your Iqama comes with different costs, such as the MOI Iqama fee, work permit fee, and, if needed, a fee for dependents. These fees may vary based on the duration of renewal, with options for 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. The flexibility in choosing the renewal period allows employers to align payments with their specific needs.

MOI Iqama fee

Under the recent changes in the Iqama renewal process, there’s now a fee of SAR 650 for either issuing a new Iqama or renewing an existing one. Employers have been granted the convenience of paying this fee in installments, and they can choose a payment plan that best fits their preferences.

  • If they prefer a one-year validity, the fee is SAR 650.
  • For a 3-month validity, the fee stands at SAR 163.
  • Opting for a 6-month validity means a fee of SAR 325.
  • And for those who select a 9-month validity, the fee amounts to SAR 488.

Fee for Work Permit:

When it comes to the work permit, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure its renewal and cover the associated expenses. To stay on top of this, it’s advisable to keep an eye on the Muqeem visa’s expiration date to know when the work permit needs renewal.

Now, concerning the work permit fees, it’s priced at SAR 800 per month. Similar to the Iqama, employers have flexibility in choosing the duration for which they want to pay. However, they are required to pay for a minimum of three months at a time. Here’s a breakdown of the fees:

  1. For a 3-month period, the fee amounts to SAR 2,400.
  2. Opting for a 6-month permit will cost SAR 4,800.
  3. If you choose a 9-month permit, it will be SAR 7,200.
  4. And for a full year, the fee comes to SAR 9,600.

Expatriate Fees for Sponsoring Dependents in Saudi Arabia

For expatriates living in Saudi Arabia and supporting their dependents, the responsibility for renewing iqamas lies with them. Specifically, the fee for each dependent amounts to SAR 400 per month. If they choose to make payments every three months, the fee structure is as follows:

  1. For a 3-month renewal, the cost is SAR 1,200.
  2. Opting for a 6-month renewal results in a fee of SAR 2,400.
  3. Extending it to a 9-month renewal incurs a cost of SAR 3,600.
  4. Finally, a 12-month renewal amounts to SAR 4,800.

Extending Iqama for 3 Months in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, the government has introduced a convenient option for expatriates to renew their Iqama for shorter durations, such as 3 months. This flexibility is beneficial for those who may be planning to leave the country or change jobs. Here’s how to renew your Iqama for 3 months:

  1. Meet all the eligibility criteria mentioned earlier.
  2. Discuss your intention to renew your Iqama for only 3 months with your company’s GRO (General Relations Officer).
  3. Your employer will log in to the Muqeem portal (
  4. Navigate to “المعاملات الإلكترونية” (Electronic Transactions).
  5. Select “تجديد الإقامة” (Residency Renewal).
  6. Please type in the code that was sent to your mobile phone for security purpose
  7. Provide your Iqama Number.
  8. Choose the 3-month renewal duration.
  9. Click “Submit.”

This option gives expatriates more flexibility and control over their Iqama renewal, especially if they have specific plans or uncertainties about their stay in Saudi Arabia.

Paying Iqama Renewal Fees Online in 2023

In the digital age, paying Iqama renewal fees online has become more accessible and convenient. Here, we’ll show you how to pay these fees in 2023, step by step. Please note that the fees mentioned here are accurate at the time of writing but may be subject to change.

Iqama Renewal Fees in 2023

As of 2023, the total Iqama Renewal Fee, including insurance and all other costs, amounts to SR 10,750. However, the cost can change based on your own circumstances and how long you plan to renew it for.

Payment Options

You can make your Iqama renewal fee payment through several Saudi banks, including SNB (Saudi National Bank or Al Ahli Bank) and Al Rajhi Bank. Here’s how to do it:

Using SNB or Al Ahli Bank:

  1. Download the bank’s application from your device’s app store.
  2. Sign in to your online banking account.
  3. Go to the “Menu”.
  4. Select “SADAD.”
  5. Choose “Government Payments.”
  6. Under “Biller,” select “Alien Control.”
  7. For “Service,” choose “Renew Iqama.”
  8. For “Beneficiary,” select “Unregistered.”
  9. Enter your Iqama ID (Iqama Number).
  10. Choose the duration of Iqama renewal (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  11. Verify that the expat employee’s name and the fee amount are correct.
  12. Click the “Proceed” button to make your Iqama renewal payment online.

Using Al Rajhi Bank:

  1. Download the bank’s application from your device’s app store.
  2. Sign in to your online banking account.
  3. Click on the “Payments” choice.
  4. Click “Government Payment.”
  5. Choose “Alien Control” under “Application Type.”
  6. For “Transaction Type,” select “Payment.”
  7. Enter your Iqama ID (Iqama number).
  8. Specify the duration of Iqama renewal (3, 6, 9, or 12 months).
  9. Confirm that the expat employee’s name and fee amount are accurate.
  10. Click “Confirm” to complete the online payment for Iqama renewal fees.

Renewing your Iqama when you’re not in Saudi Arabia

Expatriates may wonder whether it’s possible to renew their Iqama while they or their dependents are outside of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The answer is yes, but specific requirements must be met.

Renew Iqama Without Kafeel

While the standard Iqama renewal process is typically facilitated by the Kafeel (sponsor), there is a possibility to renew Iqama in Saudi Arabia without the involvement of a Kafeel. To achieve this, certain conditions must be met:

  1. Check Iqama Huroob Status: Ensure that there is no Huroob (absconding report) associated with your Iqama status.
  1. Verify Transfer Eligibility: Confirm whether you are eligible to transfer your Iqama without a Kafeel.
  1. Transfer through Qiwa: If eligible, initiate the transfer of your Iqama to a new employer through the Qiwa platform.

By following these steps, you can renew your Iqama without the direct involvement of a Kafeel, providing an alternative option for expatriates in Saudi Arabia.

Iqama Renewal After 60 Years

Additionally, it’s essential to be aware of the Iqama renewal process for expatriate employees who have reached the age of 60 or above. In such cases, specific procedures come into play:

  • The General Relations Office (GRO) of the company or the Kafeel is responsible for renewing the Iqama of expatriate employees aged 60 or above.

This ensures that even as expatriates age, they can continue to fulfill the necessary requirements to remain legally in Saudi Arabia.

Iqama Renewal for Sons Aged 18 to 25

When renewing the Iqama for a dependent son aged between 18 and 25 years, there are specific requirements that must be met. To renew your Iqama, you’ll have to give the General Relations Office (GRO) of your company some extra documents:

  1. Application Form: Complete the necessary application form to renew Iqama in Saudi Arabia
  1. Certificate from College/University: Include a certificate issued by the college or university where your son is enrolled. This certificate serves as proof of his educational status.
  1. Passport-Size Photo: Provide a recent passport-size photograph of your son as part of the renewal process.
  1. Iqama Copies: Submit copies of both your son’s and your own Iqama as part of the renewal application.
  1. Additional Fee: Be aware that there is an additional fee of SR 500 associated with the renewal of the Iqama for dependent sons in this age group.

Meeting these requirements ensures a smooth Iqama renewal in Saudi Arabia process for dependent sons aged between 18 and 25 years, allowing them to continue their stay in Saudi Arabia under your sponsorship.

Dependents Outside KSA

If you are an expatriate family head, it’s possible to renew your family’s Iqama, even if some dependents are outside of KSA. However, you must complete the following requirements:

Payment of the dependent fee.

Provide a certificate issued from the college/university if renewing the Iqama of a son above 18 years old.

Family Head Outside KSA

In recent announcements by the Jawazat in Saudi Arabia, renewing the Iqama of a family head who is outside Saudi Arabia is also possible through the Absher platform. This flexibility is a departure from previous requirements, where the entire expatriate family had to be present in Saudi Arabia for Iqama renewal.

In conclusion, How to renew iqama in Saudi Arabia while outside KSA is feasible, provided you meet the necessary criteria and follow the appropriate procedures.

Renew Iqama in Saudi Arabia Final Thoughts

Renewing your Iqama in Saudi Arabia is a fundamental responsibility for expatriates, and it’s vital to stay informed about the process and any updates in regulations. This comprehensive guide has covered various aspects of, how to renew Iqama including the standard procedure, renewing Iqama for shorter durations, paying renewal fees online in 2023, and renewing Iqama while outside KSA.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your Iqama remains valid, allowing you to live and work in Saudi Arabia legally. Remember that compliance with Saudi regulations is essential, and failure to renew Iqama on time can result in fines, penalties, and even deportation.

Stay informed, stay compliant, and enjoy a smooth process, How to renew iqama in Saudi Arabia.

What is an Iqama in Saudi Arabia?

An Iqama in Saudi Arabia, often called a residency permit, is an official document issued by the Saudi government that allows expatriates to live and work in the kingdom.

Why is it essential to renew Iqama on time in Saudi Arabia?

Renewing your Iqama on time is crucial to maintain your legal status in Saudi Arabia. Failure to do so can result in fines, penalties, and even deportation.

What are the penalties for an expired Iqama in Saudi Arabia?

The penalties for an expired Iqama in Saudi Arabia are as follows:
First Time: A fine of SR 500.
Second Time: A fine of SR 1,000.
Third Time: Deportation of the expatriate.

Can I renew my Iqama while outside of Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can renew your Iqama while outside of Saudi Arabia under specific conditions. It is possible to renew your Iqama without the direct involvement of a Kafeel (sponsor) if certain criteria are met.

How can I pay Iqama renewal fees online in 2023?

To pay Iqama renewal fees online in 2023, follow these steps:
Download the banking application from SNB or Al Rajhi Bank.
Log in to your internet banking account.
Navigate to “Government Payments.”
Choose “Renew Iqama” under “Service.”
Enter your Iqama ID and choose the renewal duration.
Verify the information and proceed to make the payment.

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