The iqama includes 12 information and details in terms of its format like the name in Arabic, name in English, serial number, Iqama number, date of birth, date of issue, place of issue, nationality, Iqama profession, name of the employer, and religion. It is essential for every expatriate to know and understand these details, especially the name and Iqama number.
1. Name in the English
The first line on your iqama contains your name in English which is located just above the Iqama number. When you receive your Iqama card for the first time, make sure that information is correct including:
- The name in English matches with the name in Arabic.
- The spelling of the name on Iqama is the same as in the passport.
In case, any of these details are erroneous, you must return back your Iqama card immediately for rectification. If you are working in a company, don’t receive your errors are omitted.
2. Name in the Arabic
The second line on the Iqama is your name in Arabic, which is written above the Iqama number. You just need to make sure that your actual name is written on the Iqama card in Arabic. You can also take the help of an Arabic speaking person for this concern.
3. Iqama number
The third line on the Iqama card is your ID or Iqama number written in Arabic digits locate adjust below the name written in Arabic. If you carefully analyze the Iqama number format, it is a 10 digit number. An Iqama number format is a chronological number issued by Jawazat. You will memorize this number as you have to provide it everywhere.
Expatriates usually ask if there is a way to check the Iqama number online with your passport number or name. However, there is no way to check your Iqama number by just entering your passport number or name. Yet, you can check if your Iqama is issued through your passport number.
4. Serial Number
The serial number indicates the number of cards issued to the person. Now the residence permit is issued for 5 years. So, after 5 years you will be given a new card showing the second card in the serial number it will be 2 there.
Note: In case of a change of employer, Jawazat issues a new Iqama without changing other details, the serial number of the new card will be 2.
5. Place of Issue
Until 2017, the place of issue used to add the city name from where the Iqama card is issued. But now it only contains the word “Electronic Services” which means that the card has been issued electronically. Now, the place is not so much important, but before it was important as the Iqama number.
6. Date of Issue
The next line on your Iqama is the date of issuance of the card. The date is written in Arabic, according to the Hijri Calendar. You can also convert this date in the Gregorian calendar easily.
7. Date of Birth
The next line is the date of birth in the Gregorian calendar. The date of birth must coincide with the date of birth in the passport. Just like the number and name on Iqama, if your date of birth doesn’t match with the date of birth on your passport, you should return it for rectification.
Profession block contains information about your job at which you are working. The profession on your Iqama card should match with your actual profession. It is an offense to have a different profession on your residence permit then your actual profession. It may cause you to have a fine and even may lead you up for deportation.
The next line contains the information about your citizenship which is important enough. Your nationality determines the government officials’ attitude towards you. The treatment of a south Asian expatriate is different from a western expatriate.
The religion on your Iqama card determines if you can enter the two holy cities of Saudi Arabia namely Makkah and Madina. The entry of non-Muslims is not allowed in these two cities. In case you are caught with a non-Muslim written on Iqama, the authorities will take an action against you.
11. Name of employer
The name of your kafeel or employer is written in Arabic, just above the Iqama number written in English. It is illegal to work for someone who is not your employer. In the case of a raid by Jawazat, they also check the Iqama cards of different people randomly to ensure the person is working in the company is under its sponsorship.
12. Iqama number in English
If you can’t read the Iqama number written in Arabic, don’t worry, you can read it in English. It is written in the same format as in Arabic for your convenience. It is usually written on the left bottom side of the card.
I have worked for several years in Saudi Arabia as an expatriate. So I know how dificult it is to manage all the documents and formalities for a common worker in KSA. This is reason I started to write all these articles to help expats in KSA. I hope you enjoy my content.