Iqama is also known as Residence permit or work license of expatriates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). As small as the credit cards, Iqama serves as the main identity card of all foreign workers that is considered valid in all places such as government offices, banks, check points, airports, and all other establishment in Saudi.
It is mandatory for expatriates to carry the original Iqama at all times. Losing this Residence ID is as worse as being a non-entity. Without the Iqama, one cannot do even a single official transaction in the Kingdom.
How to get an Iqama?
Upon arrival in the Kingdom, the expatriate is asked to surrender his passport to the sponsor. The passport is then given to the Immigration authorities for the creation of Iqama which will be released after, approximately, three months. During these period, a photocopy of expat’s passport with sponsor’s official stamp is good enough to present when asked by the authorities.
The Iqama shows all the important details of an expatriate including a unique Iqama number, expat’s name, profession, date of birth, expiry date of the Iqama, place of issue and sponsor’s name.
What are the steps and procedures to do if your Iqama is lost?
There are circumstances that we all loss an important thing despite being careful and scrupulous. In case you irrecoverably lost your Iqama, follow these steps:
1. Inform your sponsor immediately. Ask your sponsor to write a complaint in Arabic addressed to the nearest passport office.
2. Together with your sponsor or Saudi P.R.O., hand over the written complaint to the Passport office or police station in the town where the Iqama was lost or stolen. Do it within 24 hours from the time of the incident to avoid paying the fine for late acknowledgment of lost of Iqama. Your sponsor’s presence is important to catch their attention and to avoid delay and to help you explain the unwanted incident to the authorities. Attach the following along with the letter:
Copy of your passport.
Copy of your lost/stolen Iqama – This is why it is important to keep multiple copies of all your documents upon your arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Two 4cm x 6 cm photographs.
Javasath form to be provided by the Passport Office or Police Station duly signed by you. It should also bear your sponsor’s signature and official stamp.
3. Pay in any nationalized bank for two different charges. One is the fine for losing the Iqama which is costs SAR1000 and the other fee for the issuance of the new Iqama itself worth SAR500 valid for not more than 1 year.
4. Attach the bank receipts along with the documents mentioned above.
5. Advertise the said event in the Arabic newspaper
Delivery of the new Iqama is three to five working days. Do not forget to bring a copy of your old (lost) Iqama with your sponsor’s signature and stamp until you get your new Iqama.