Iqama is a residence permit issued to all expat residents by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior. Foreign workers must possess an Iqama to live and work in the kingdom. It is also an essential requirement for opening a bank account and getting a driver’s license. Because the Iqama is such an important document, all expats in Saudi Arabia must always know their Iqama status.
Red-green status system
The red-green status system of an expat’s Iqama is connected to Saudi Arabia’s Nitaqat program, which categorizes employers’ ability to process foreign workers’ visa requirements efficiently. There are four categories:
- Platinum – exceptional Saudization rates and priority in benefits
- Green – good Saudization rates and access to various benefits
- Low-green – below-average Saudization rates and limited benefits
- Red – Non-compliant Saudization rates and potential penalties
Understanding an employer’s Nitaqat color status is vital for employees. It can impact your ability to renew your Iqama, transfer sponsorship, or even affect your employment status in the long run.
Check Iqama status online
The easiest way to check your status is through the Ministry of Labor. Just follow these three simple steps:
Step 1: Visit the Ministry of Labor website
The Ministry of Labor portal is in Arabic by default, but you can change your language to English to easily navigate the website.
Step 2: Enter required information
Your employer provides your Iqama number even before you arrive in Saudi Arabia. Keep this information handy all the time. Enter your Iqama number, as well as your birthdate when prompted. Input the captcha number and click ‘Next.’
Step 3: View results
The next page will detail all your personal information, including the validity period of your Iqama.
Verify Iqama using Absher
You can also check your Iqama status through the Absher app. In addition to checking your Iqama status, you can also use the app to perform other tasks such as vehicle registration. Follow these steps to check your Iqama status:
Step 1: Log in to Absher
You can use either your username or Iqama number to log in. Note that the default language for the app is English, but you can easily switch to Arabic as well.
Step 2: Input the OTP sent to your mobile
You will l receive a one-time pin on your registered mobile number to complete the login procedure.
Step 3: Select ‘Query Iqama Expiry Service’
The expiration date of your Iqama status will be displayed accordingly.
Check Iqama via SMS
You can also check your Iqama status via SMS. Just type in 12*SponsorID*Iqama number and send it to the appropriate numbers below:
- STC (Sawa): 888994
- Mobily: 624444
- Zain: 709444
Verify Iqama Offline
You can also check your Iqama status offline. You simply need to visit the nearest Jawazat (Passport Office) to verify your permit’s expiration date. Bring your passport (a copy will not suffice) and be prepared to give your Iqama number when asked.
If you are a foreigner living and working in Saudi Arabia, you should determine the validity of your Iqama status to avoid possible complications. You might have to pay a penalty or even get deported if you do not renew your Iqama status on time. Explore our blog to learn more about living and working in Saudi Arabia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I see a digital version of my Iqama card?
- Absolutely. You can do so by checking the Ministry of Labor website or the Absher app.
What is the validity of the Iqama card?
- An Iqama card is valid for one year from the issue date and is usually renewable.
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