IQAMA is an arabic term for residence permit and all expatriates working in Saudi Arabia ought to have one. Written in the IQAMA card are details like your full name, date of birth, nationality, religion, job title, the company or ministry (government) you render services for, the unique 10-digit number known as the rakam al-iqama (Iqama number), and most importantly, the date of expiration.
Expatriates should be wary about the last item mentioned and this means keeping track of the date (it is in hijri calendar, by the way),and making sure you get to renew the residence permit at least a week before it expires. Otherwise, you become an illegal alien overstaying in the country and as soon as you finally get the time to renew it, penalties in hefty amount awaits you.
How does one renew an IQAMA anyway? There are two ways: 1) via ATM 2) Internet banking.
To pay your IQAMA fees online via internet banking, it is a pre-requisite that you are registered in this service with the bank you are affiliated with. Ask with your bank the procedures on how to procure a username and a password to be verified by their system so that you can transact online.
If you are ready with your log-in details, get started with step 1.
Step 1: Open the official website of your bank on your browser and fill in your log-in details. (The graphical user interface in our example is the Al-Rajhi Bank.)
Step 3: Make sure that you are in the “Expatriate Services” tab, select “Payment” from the first drop-down list, then “Renew Iqama” on the next. Choose the existing account from where you want to deduct the fees and the number of months that you wish to renew your IQAMA with. Lastly, fill-in your IQAMA number. Check the last item thoroughly before clicking proceed.
Step 4: You will be taken to another page where you will be prompted with a summary list of the details you’ve put in. The fee of 500 SR (for 12months) will also be reflected. Review the summary and click “confirm”.
Step 5: A new page will be presented to you with the online receipt in printable version. You can also click “send to email” if you want to have a copy sent in your inbox.
Bring the printed receipt with you and you are just about ready to go to the jawazat (passport office) to surrender your old IQAMA and request for a renewal. After 2-3 days of processing (some immediately the next day), you can claim your new copy of IQAMA with a new expiration date. 🙂