Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Passport and Iqama Renewal

I wrote this post for persons who are not under the sponsorship of a company, and who have the obligation to pay for the renewal of their resident permits (iqama). Information regarding iqama renewal after renewal of a passport is, unfortunately, not usually displayed on websites, and if at all it is, then it is probably in Arabic. However, I'm just going to write about specific points based on what one expat experienced when he renewed his and his family's iqamas so that you do not make the same mistake.

If you wish to renew your iqama and your passport was renewed recently, you have to go to the passport office first so that your information is updated. From what I learned, this is to ensure that your new passport is linked to your current iqama and the old passport will be cancelled. You absolutely need to go with your Khafeel (sponsor) during this stage. For all the stages below, you do not need to be accompanied by your sponsor.

You may have to do some laboratory tests. If you live with your family in Saudi Arabia, you and your spouse would be requested to do these tests. (Update: I was informed recently that the whole family would be requested to do medicals.) Currently, individuals do not have to wait for the results, as these are sent directly to the administrative center involved in the renewal of resident permits.

Make sure you pay medical insurance before starting the iqama renewal process. If you do not, you would waste invaluable time queuing up only to be told that you have to pay insurance first. Believe me, the immigration offices are usually crowded and you want to make sure you have everything you need before going there. Regarding insurance, you may pay for individual or family medical insurance. It depends on your preferences.     

If you have a traffic violation, pay it or you won't be able to renew your iqama. You do not need to go to your bank to pay this, as it can be done from any ATM.


  1. An updated information blog about expatriates living in Saudi Arabia.

  2. Thank you, Anon. I just visited your blog. It is very informative, masha'Allah!


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