Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jeddah: Getting A Child's Iqama (Residence Permit)

In my last post, I wrote about the difficulties we faced in getting our child's birth certificate. After this we proceeded to get his iqama or residence permit. To get a child's iqama, we were asked to provide the following:

  • A copy of the parents' iqama (father and mother)
  • A copy of the father's passport
  • A copy of the child's birth certificate
  • A copy of child's passport
  • Two passport size photographs of the child 

We applied for his passport when we got his birth certificate. Little did we know that this was going to take a long time too. We finally got his passport after 6 months. By this time our son was over a year old. 

Next, my husband had to go the immigration office located at shariah sitteen, to start the iqama process. He was asked to fill a form outside main office, which he later took inside to the officer. After running a check, he was surprised when the officer told him he had a penalty to pay. One thousand Saudi riyals! Yes, this is the charge you pay for applying late for your child's iqama. He said our son was over a year old, so we had to pay the fine if we wanted to get his iqama done. 

My husband had no choice but to pay. Fortunately, payment was easy via an ATM machine located nearby. After paying this fine, he was able to proceed and he finally got the iqama a few hours later.

Needless to say that there is so much wrong information out there surrounding the process of getting your child's birth certificate or his/her iqama. We didn't have any idea and just discovered things in the process. After this first experience, we learnt a few things:
  • Choose the clinic or hospital in which you intend to have your baby wisely. Besides getting a good obstetrician, a health institution that has experience in issuing documents that are required by the government office for the issuance of a birth certificate would save you a great deal of headache. We learnt this the hard way.
  • Start the process early enough. Do not wait until your child is a few months old before starting, thinking that you have enough time.
  • Find out what it takes to get a child's passport from your consulate or embassy. This would help you to know if you can get the passport in time to apply for your child's iqama without having to pay a penalty.

The process is tiring and could be long. So, men be patient.


  1. Big up sis..I am loving this. But why does the iqama for children take so much time?.Is it the same for adults?

  2. Thanks sis. Well, it was this long for the little guy, because we had to make his birth certificate and passport first.It usually does not take this long for adults. An average 30 to 90 days for those who came on work visa. I came under family visa, and I got mine on the same day. So as you can see, it depends on the situation.

  3. no its not that long in riyadh. I had got birth certificate, passport from my embassy and iqama in 3 weeks post birth of my son.

  4. I don't know if getting a child's iqama has to do with the region. In our case it was very long because passport processing times are longer at our consulate. After we got all the necessary documents, getting his iqama was no headache, apart from paying the 1000 SAR charge of course.

  5. First of all thanks for your posts... Indeed its a big headache for expats that too for the first child... Am in such difficult time awaiting to go to Ahwal again since my first attempt didn't paid me off.... They gave me a bunch of form and told me that you gotta get two saudi witness and their pathaka copy. I was shocked... how can a saudi witness birth of my child as i know no one here... Went back to the clinic and thy refused saying its first time thy hear.... I was hopeful atleast to get some one from office but failed.... This just infuriated me and am back to the clinic to fight.... By this time my child is 2 months old.... They said we daily got many reports so leave us those documents we'll arrange something for you... Finally I got my certificate changed from clinic to hospital since thy had a tie up with a hospital. Hoping to get Ahwal next week and lets see...

    Can you tell me a bit about the penalty... This applies to only those over a year or how does it?

    Happy life ahead for you...

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is really sad to hear this.

    In our case we were told we had to pay a fine of 1000 SAR because we failed to get our son's before he turned one. The agent told my husband that this service was free for kids below 1 year.

    All the best and hope that you finally get it done next week.

  7. is it legal for the children to be under the iqama of the mother even if their father is also in the kingdom?i was told that children should be under the iqama only of the father while the father is this true?

  8. i'm late to make my son's iqama about two n half years ... so i have to know how much fine should i pay???

  9. i'm late to make my son's iqama about two n half years ... so i have to know how much fine should i pay???

  10. What is the process for the child born outside Saudi Arabia? My child is now in Jeddah with me and he's now 9 months old.

  11. Hello Ahmad,

    I suppose your child came via family visa. All you have to do is to go to Jawazaat and make a request for an iqama.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Hello Zaheen,

    I'm sorry I'd not seen your comment earlier. Please check witht the jawazaat office, as I am not sure of the amount that You have to pay now. The last I heard was that for every year (ie, after your child turns one), you have to pay 1000 SAR, but please check with the government office to confirm this information.


  13. Hello.

    i just want to ask something, what if my wife delivered a baby while she's on visit visa (means she doesn't have an Iqama)?
    Do we need or can apply for Iqama (for my baby) too?
    Can we exit the kingdom without Iqama for my baby?

  14. It is possible to add your new born baby under your Iqama in both the ways, Whether your child born in your home country or in Saudi Arabia, Both ways explained in the below articles.

  15. Another valuable source of info is

  16. First of very great content, Congrats. It is also possible to register for appointment for your children birth certificate in Al Ahwal Madani as explained in below article.


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