“Iqama is a national residency permit issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to expatriates on an employment visa. It is used to manage foreign hires in KSA so that they may be able to legally work and live in the country.
The Iqama card bears the following information: full name, date of birth, nationality, job title, employer name, Iqama card number, issuance date, and validity. For private sectors, Iqama has up to a year validity and is subject to renewal.”
Who applies for Iqama?
A local sponsor, also called local employer, is required before a non-Saudi national can work in the country. The local sponsor is responsible for the application and processing of the necessary work permit and residence card of the foreign national employee. The local sponsor is liable for all the processing fees associated with Iqama.
A local sponsor or employer can be a Saudi company, a Saudi citizen, or a foreign organization with a valid license to run business in Saudi Arabia.
Why is your Iqama important?
- You cannot work and live in KSA without a valid Iqama
- It is the only valid proof of identification for expatriates in Saudi
- You cannot roam outside in Saudi without a valid Iqama
- It is required when opening a bank account, renting a home, subscribe to a mobile service, and enrolling for utilities
- You must present your valid Iqama when purchasing a bus or train tickets
- Your bank accounts will be blocked if your Iqama is expired
Why do I need my Iqama to be translated?
The government of Saudi Arabia releases Iqama in Arabic language hence, there are situations where you need your Iqama to be translated for any legal purpose.
An Iqama or residence card contains vital information used to prove one’s identity. Therefore, Iqama must only be translated using a professional translation service. Accurate translation of residence cards must be as similar to the original as possible. Since Iqama is required and considered as the only valid identification for foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia, the translation must be in accordance with legal standards.
Erroneous translation of Iqama may cause inconvenience and complication. An individual who possesses an inaccurately translated Iqama may be accused of fraud and tampering of a national legal document.