Saudi Arabia starts issuing and renewing Iqama quarterly and arrests 13,906 illegals.


The Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat), and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development have started implementing the new service of issuance and renewal of residency permit (iqama) for expatriates on a quarter-of-a-year basis.

Saudi Arabia starts issuing and renewing Iqama quarterly

This is in cooperation with the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (SDAIA), represented by the National Information Center, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The move is in implementation of a recent decision of the Council of Ministers to allow the issuance and renewal of iqama linked to work permit for a minimum period of three months. However, there is an exemption of this for domestic workers and the like.

The new mechanism will enable the employer to renew residency permit linked to work permit after the payment of the expatriate fee (financial compensation) for varying periods of three months, six months and nine months, apart from a period of 12 months which has been in force until the recent decision taken by the Cabinet.

It is noteworthy that Minister of Interior Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Naif launched on Nov. 3 a series of online services and these included the renewal of iqama on a quarter-of-a-year basis. The new service is available on the online platforms of Absher Individual, Absher Business, Muqeem, and Qiwa.

Saudi banks recently started updating their government payments system for the issuance and renewal of iqamas, which are linked to work permits, for a minimum period of three months. According to the recently updated government payments system, iqama fees can be paid on a quarterly or half-yearly or nine-month period basis in addition to the existing period of one year.

Employers shall make payment of the expatriate fee for the renewal of the work permit, which is SR800 per month or SR9,600 in a year. Expatriates can make quarterly payment of the fee for their dependents and companions when they renew their iqama on quarterly basis. The monthly fee for dependents and companions is amounted to SR400 each.

The new mechanism would enable private sector establishments to achieve cash management with higher efficiency with getting an opportunity to renew work permits of their foreign staff according to their actual need.

In addition, this decision will support the growth of the private sector entities, contribute to the development of the labor market, enhance its attractiveness, and improve its work environment, besides giving the existing contractual relationship more flexibility, and thus making it keep pace with the global employment markets.

Saudi Arabia arrests 13,906 illegals in a week

arrests 13,906 illegals.

RIYADH - Around 13,906 violators of residency and labor laws and border security regulations have been arrested in various regions of the Kingdom within a week. The arrests were made during joint field campaigns carried out by various units of security forces and the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) during the period from 11 to 17 November.

Those arrested included 6,597 violators of the residency laws, about 5,775 violators of the border security regulations, and more than 1,534 violators of the labor law.

A total of 356 people were arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, of whom 54 percent were Yemeni nationals, 44 percent were Ethiopians, and 2 percent belonged to other nationalities while 34 people were arrested for trying to flee the Kingdom crossing borders. The security forces also arrested 14 people who were involved in transporting violators and giving them shelter.

The total number of violators, who are currently subject to the punitive measures, accounted for more than 86,952 including more than 78,650 men and 8,302 women, while the cases of 73,393 violators were referred to their diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents for their deportation.

The Ministry of Interior has warned that anyone who is caught facilitating anyone to enter the Kingdom in violation of the border security regulations, or provides him transportation or shelter or any assistance or service in any way, shall be awarded a maximum jail term of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million, and the confiscation of the means of transportation, and the residence used for shelter, in addition to publicizing their names in the local media.


- Saudi News / Saudi Gazette Report

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