Are you looking for iqama expiry and status check? Have you ever thought of migrating to different countries due to the financial crisis? Probably yes, because the unemployment rate is increasing in our country. Indians are mostly migrating to Middle-East countries for their daily bread and butter. The employment rate and GDP in these countries are far better than in Asian countries.
In this article, we’ll be discussing about Iqama and its significant details. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is the most significant Arab State with a huge population of 31.8 million individuals. You’ll be surprised to know within this population, more than 11.7 million are foreigners includes Bangladeshi, Indians, Arabs, and Sri Lankans.
Now let’s know more about the importance of Iqama.
What Is Iqama In Saudi Arabia?
To attract Asians to work in their country, they have setup the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority. Iqama is used to hire and manage foreign hires. Iqama is basically a residence permit which is used to hire expatriates to work and earn in Saudi Arabia. The majority of working professionals in this country are Indians. It’s a kind of employment visa for all the migrants. Below you’ll know more about its application process, background, and permit.
The KSA government is quite strict when it comes to immigration, incase of foreign employees. In the past couple of years, a Non-Saudi national can work in KSA. But the candidate requires a local sponsor. Local sponsor is an employee who applies and secures the job for the migrants. Above all, this local sponsor allots residency card (iqama) for the employees. This card also includes the rules related to work and stay for the migrants.
Foreign employees are mostly employed for a certain period according to his or her work permit and Iqama. When it comes to the private sector, the validity of this work permit and Iqama is only one year, and the renewal is a must. The migrant has to pay 8000SR for iqama during the renewal process.
Your iqama consists of name, DOB, religion, validity, and profession.
Using this iqama, you can travel anywhere in Saudi Arabia hassle-free. Above all, you can also comfortably reside in flats and hotel rooms. But, starting your own business or buying an own house is not possible with this work permit. To purchase a house, you have to change your nationality. If you want to open a local bank account or buy a car, you have to seek permission from the officials.
You have the freedom to open a remittance account and make minimum transactions. Making transactions also depends on your salary, but you can effortlessly make all the transactions.
However, if you are a non-Muslim, you cannot visit the holy places like Mecca and Madina of Saudi Arabia. Iqama also consists of the medical insurance details of the migrants. If you have a valid Iqama, you only have to pay 20 percent of your medical bills. You even get a medical allowance from your sponsors and company.
What Is The Iqama Application Process?
The application process of Iqama is a bit complicated and requires months to complete the whole process.
- Your local sponsor has to apply for the Visa approval from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD). This visa approval is also known as a Block visa. These visas are issued MLSD that allows migrants for long-term work authorization.
- This visa depends on your nationality and educational qualification. It also depends on your work experience. Once this process is completed, you’ll receive a Power of Attorney and Visa Authorization number by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in KSA.
- The further process is related to the work visa. A block visa allows the foreign employees to accompanied by a medical certificate which is issued by the KSA medical center.
- Once the work visa is approved, the migrant can now enter Saudi Arabia and start working in the company. Finally, within 90 days of arrival, the foreign employee has to submit Iqama and work permit to the MSLD.
- If the foreign employee wants to exit and re-enter in KSA during the validity of Iqama, he/she has to apply for the exit/re-entry permit. The Ministry of Interior will allot this permit.
How To Check The Iqama Status?
- Iqama ID is a white card that consists of yellowish hologram imprints. Above all, this card contains your ID picture and Residence Permit. Now, you have to check your Iqama number. Your Iqama number consists of a 10-digit numerical combination that can be found at the bottom of your card.
- Now, you have to visit the KSA’s Ministry of Interior website. Open your web browser, and enter http://www.moi.gov.sa/. Once you visit the website, change the language to ‘English.’ Click on ‘E-services’ to check your Iqama status.
- Select the ‘Passport’ option and choose “Query Iqama Expiry Service.” Now you have to enter your Iqama number and generate the image code. Once you enter all the credentials, click on the ‘Vie’ button. You can now see the status and significant details of your Iqama number.
This was all about Iqama and its significant details. I hope this article is helpful for all the foreign employees working in KSA.