Saudi Arabia is known as a country that welcomes thousands of expatriates that are looking for job opportunities. In this regard, workers should hold a residence permit called Iqama, and renew it timely. Therefore, both employers and employees need to learn about Iqama renewal.
In this article, you are going to learn more about Iqama renewal. Let us observe:
- What is Iqama?
- Iqama Renewal Fees 2024
- Iqama Renewal Process in Saudi Arabia
1. What is Iqama?
When it comes to immigration and labour policy compliance, the KSA government is very strict. This is why it has implemented several provisions through the Saudi Labour Law.
In this regard, if you are an expatriate searching for a job, before starting to work you must have a local sponsor.
Thus, your employer acts on your behalf to obtain the work permit and residency card. In Saudi Arabia, this residency permit is known as Iqama.
So, once you get your employment contract and your documentation, you are allowed to stay and work in KSA legally.
And, since employees in KSA are on a fixed term, the duration of the Iqama and work permit corresponds to the contract duration.
Therefore, in some cases, the Iqama is valid for one year, and you need to renew it thereafter.
This is why employees and employers should check the Iqama status. This will let them know about the iqama renewal check.
Steps Of Iqama Renewal In Saudi Arabia 2024
- Input the username or ID number along with the password on the Absher Platform.
- A text message containing a verification code will be sent to the mobile number registered on Absher.
- Upon verification, you will be redirected to the main page of Absher services.
- Navigate to “e-services” and choose “sponsored services.”
- Select “Renewing Iqama” from the available options.
- Review the service instructions and proceed by clicking “Next.”
- Choose the worker for whom you wish to renew the residency permit.
- Specify the renewal period, verify the entered information, and click on “Renew Iqama.”
- The Residency Identity Card will be dispatched to your address through the Saudi Post. If you don’t have an address, you can create one on the Saudi Post website.
2. Iqama Renewal Fees 2024
The fees for iqama renewal vary depending on several factors. Here we have the most common ones so you can be prepared on how much to pay.
2.1 MOI Iqama Issuance and Renewal Fees 2024
The fee for issuing or renewing the Iqama is SAR 650. According to the new rules for iqama renewal, employers can now pay it in different instalments depending on the duration they want, leaving it as follows:
- One-year validity fee: SAR 650.
- 3-month validity fee: SAR 163.
- 6-month validity fee: SAR 325.
- 9-month validity fee: SAR 488.
2.2 Work Permit Fee or Maktab Amal Fees 2023
In relation tothe work permit, the employer also has to pay for its renewal. In this regard, it is advisable to check the Muqeem visa validity so they can be aware of when to proceed with the renewal of the work permit too.
When it comes to the work permit, has a monthly cost of SAR 800. And, as well as with the Iqama, the employer can decide to pay it depending on the desired duration. However, it should be paid for a minimum of three months at a time.
Thus, the fee will be as follows:
- 3-month fee: SAR 2,400.
- 6-month fee: SAR 4,800.
- 9-month fee: SAR 7,200.
- Yearly fee: SAR 9,600.
2.3 Expat Dependent Fees 2023
For expatriates residing in Saudi Arabia sponsoring dependents, they have to pay the iqama renewal fees. In this regard, the fee for each dependent is SAR 400 monthly. So, if they decide to pay it every 3 months, the fee will be as follows:
- 3-month fee: SAR 1,200.
- 6-month fee: SAR 2,400.
- 9-month fee: SAR 3,600.
- 12-month fee: SAR 4,800.
2.4 Iqama renewal fee calculator
Since Saudi Iqama renewal fees may be confusing for some, it is important to know how to calculate them. Regardless if you earn the minimum wage in Saudi Arabia, or if you earn much more, the fee is the same for expatriates.
So, the formula to calculate the fee depends on the number of months you will need to renew both the Iqama and the work permit. Also, if you have dependents under your sponsorship.
For example, if you plan to renew your Iqama and work permit for three months and you have no dependents, you have to add the Iqama 3-month fee of SAR 163 plus the Work permit 3-month fee of SAR 2,400. In total, you will have to pay SAR 2563. And, if in this case, you have 1 dependent, you will have to add SAR 1,200 for a total of SAR 3763.
However, keep in mind this cost is an estimation and it does not include the cost of health insurance.
2.5 Work Permit Fee For Domestic Workers
As per the new rules for iqama renewal, the fee for domestic workers depends on the number of them hired by the employer. Let us observe:
- Saudi employers have to pay a work permit fee for the fifth domestic employer hired and so on.
- Foreign employers have to pay a work permit fee for the third domestic worker hired and so on.
This means that the Saudi employer does not have to pay the fee for the first four domestic workers and the foreign employer does not have to pay for the first two domestic workers.
2.6 Levy Exemptions for Small Businesses
Since the Saudi new rules for Iqama renewal 2020, the rule for levy exemptions for small businesses states that those companies with less than nine employees which must include a full-time Saudi national, do not have to pay the fee for hiring foreign professionals for up to two workers. This will be until March 2024.
If the small business hires another Saudi national in addition to the other one working full time, the exemption increases to four workers.
3. Iqama Renewal Process in Saudi Arabia
Since you know that Iqama has to be renewed periodically, it is best to get all the information about it, such as free Iqama renewal for 3 months and the fees.
And, if the expatriate employee has dependents under his sponsorship, then he has to pay the fees for the dependent levy for each member. This was part of the saudi new rules for Iqama renewal 2021 and it is still the same.
In this regard, it is recommended to know the process to renew the Iqama as well as the requirements.
3.1 See the requirements for renewing the Iqama
To renew your Iqama, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Pay the Iqama renewal fees.
- Pay the fee for the work permit.
- If you have any traffic fines, you have to pay them before.
- Valid health insurance policy.
- Pay the dependent fee (if applicable).
If you do not know if you have any fines, you have to check your fines on your identity card. This will you determine the amount you have to pay.
Once you are sure you comply with the above, your employer can begin the process to renew your Iqama.
3.2 Who should renew your Iqama?
If you are an employee, your company is the only one responsible for renewing your Iqama. In addition, the company has to pay the fee for renewal.
Thus, as an employee, you do not need to fill out an application form or pay for renewal. The only condition for employees with dependents is that they have to pay the dependents levy.
Therefore, if your employer is refusing to renew your Iqama or to pay for it, you should know this is not allowed. You could also file a complaint regarding a labour issue like this one.
3.3 Step-by-step process to renew the Iqama
Iqama renewal is very simple since now the process can be done online. As per the new rules for iqama renewal, the process is now even easier.
Now, employers can renew Iqama even 6 months in advance. Also, they can renew it even if the expatriate is outside Saudi Arabia.
So, here are the steps the employer has to follow to renew the Iqama:
- Visit Muqeem’s official portal.
- Since the website is in Arabic by default, you can change it to English by clicking the corresponding icon on the top.
- Use his credentials to log in.
- Click on “Electronic Transactions.”
- Select “Iqama renewal.”
- Enter the security code received on your mobile.
- Enter the Iqama number.
- Here, you have to select the Iqama duration (3, 6, 9 or 12 months).
- Click on “Submit.”
After that, the Iqama will be automatically renewed for the duration selected.
3.4 Get to know what happens if you do not renew your Iqama on time
As a resident of Saudi Arabia, it is advisable to renew your Iqama 3 days before its expiry date. If you do not renew it on time, you have to pay a fine that will vary depending on the number of days that go on from the expiry date.
If it is the first time you incur in late renewal, the fine is SR 500. The second time is SR 1,000 and by the third time, the employee can face deportation.
So, your employer has to visit a Jawazat office to pay the delay fine and request the renewal. But, if you want to leave Saudi Arabia, you have to request your employer to cancel your work permit and residency.
The most important is that your employer does not have to delay visa cancellation, otherwise you may have to look for external support.
If you want to learn more about how to succeed in Saudi Arabia, we invite you to visit our blog. We have several guides about how to do MOFA Check status online or how to do the Mudad Login and Registration.