What is Iqama in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

What is Iqama, while browsing through jobs in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you must have seen the word Iqama under most of the employer’s requirements. Or perhaps you came across the concept of Iqama after seeing off your close family member to work in KSA. Whatever the case, today we are here to talk in detail about the Saudi Iqama and its importance and benefits for the user. 

What is Iqama?

What is Iqama in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In a literary context, Iqama refers to the residence permit of any foreigner living and working in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These workers are commonly known as expatriates and their Iqamas are sponsored by the companies that employ them in Saudi Arabia. 

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Keeping in mind the strict rules and regulations of the Saudi government, you must always comply with the conditions stated on your Iqama card. This includes details such as the duration period which lasts for a year in private companies and varies for the government sector. Once your Iqama has expired, you need to request its renewal if your job demands you to stay in Saudi Arabia for a longer time. 

Latest news about Saudi Iqama

Having stated who has the right to hold an Iqama in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, let us move on to the latest updates regarding this residence permit as announced by the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs. 

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Expat levy 

As per Saudi law, the employer of every expatriate is responsible for covering all monetary dues associated with their employee’s Iqama. This includes the repatriation ticket fee, Iqama renewal charges, and even insurance in case of life-threatening incidents. 

However, as per the latest amendment in 2017, a new tax has been introduced for all foreign workers residing in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since the law doesn’t explicitly state who needs to pay these charges, the expatriate and employee have to figure it out between themselves. 

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Moreover, expatriates with dependents in their home countries are now entitled to pay a levy for every member listed on their Iqama. This one-time payment is made upon renewal of your Iqama. 

Saudization of Workforce 

Unfortunate news for every expatriate working in Saudi Arabia came with the introduction of Saudi Vision 2030. This vision targets gigantic public, medium, and small enterprises to increase the number of Saudi nationals working in them. The ministry of civil service has gone as far as stating that these sectors should send back all Iqama holders latest by 2020.  


And with that being said, that is the latest update for Iqama holders residing and working in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We conclude in hopes that our article taught you about the meaning, significance, and rules associated with a Saudi Iqama in 2022.

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