What is iqama?

I am going to be in Dhahran, Saudi soon for a business trip and looks like Bahrain would be a nice place to spend a weekend. I been reading this page lately and people been mentioning it would required a IQAMA to travel back and forth. Can someone please tell me what is IQAMA. Is a multi entry Saudi VISA be enough to enter and re-enter Saudi and Bahrain ?

12 Answers

  • Mintee
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    simple answer.. an iqama is similar to a green card in USA.. its a resident booklet.. its a tiny small green booklet that says you are allowed to live (or work) in SaudiArabia..

    You have to have one if you are not a Saudi citizen.. It accompanies your passport which will have an entrance/exit visa stamp in it..

    Your employer should have a respresentative or department that will help get you the proper documents that will allow you to travel to and fro from within and to Bahrain or the other nearby gulf countries.. Dubai is a 50min plane ride away from Dhahran..

  • 3 years ago

    Iqama Saudi Arabia

  • 1 decade ago

    To work in Saudi you will need an Iqama. An Iqama is a residence permit which is smilar to an ID card. this cannot be used for international travel from Saudi. To leave Saudi and come back you will need an Exit - Re entry visa (200 SR ) but this is valid for only one exit and entry, if you are looking for multiple trips you will require a Multiple Exit - Re entry visa (500SR) with this you can travel as much as you want within the 6 months from the 1st day of exit.

  • Gigi
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The iqama is a residence permitt, that can be valid from 1 to 7 years, according to the nagotiation you make with your employer.

    As you are going on a business trip only, I do not think that the iqama is for you.

    The business that is inviting you, can issue for you a 6 month multientry business visa for saudi arabia.

    After that your entry to Bahrain will be a matter that you need to be informed by Bahraini authorities. You need to see if you need to apply for a visa or not.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Diana
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    If he's a driver for a family, then he can't really financially support you, so that's why they don't issue iqamas to family members of drivers. The only option I can think of is that your husband convinces the family to hire you as a maid, and you go work for them. But, there are a lot of families that wouldn't like that because they want both the driver and the maid to be available to them 24/7. Also, what if you get pregnant? Will the family be ok with that? Sorry, but I think the chances of you joining your husband are very small. :(

  • 4 years ago

    How much does an iqama ID cost?

  • 4 years ago

    Hi! can you help me know if I can buy phone here in Saudi without Iqama?

    • Mal3 years agoReport

      I was here 2 years ago ago bought one without any questions asked

  • Shay p
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Iqama ‘Smart Cards’ Soon

    Abdul Maqsood Mirza, Arab News

    JEDDAH, 10 June 2006 — Electronic iqama cards will soon be made available to expatriate workers in the Makkah Region as the passport department is currently installing the equipment to issue such smart cards, according to Brig. Muhammad Hassan Al-Asmari, director general of the department.

    Speaking to Arab News, Al-Asmari said his department decided to issue electronic iqama cards in place of booklets as part of efforts to prevent forgery and provide advanced services to both Saudis and expatriates.

    “We handle more than 16,000 applications daily,” he said while talking about the pressure of work at the department’s office in Jeddah, especially during summer when a large number of Saudis and expatriates travel abroad to spend their holidays.

    Al-Asmari said the department was also training its officers on how to use the new equipment to issue smart iqama cards and how to overcome problems.

    He hoped that the department would be able to complete the installation of the equipment and training of its staff within the next few weeks.

    The new smart card will carry all personal information about the holder, informed sources said.

    The permit will bear the full name of the worker in both Arabic and English, the number, expiry date, photo, date of birth, nationality, profession, religion and the employer’s full name.

    The information on the card cannot be tampered with, said the sources.


    You can't make it simple using the USA green card, how does one know about a green card, FOR YOUR INFO a green card is issued to an individual who is in the process of becoming an American citizen NOTHING TO DO WITH AN IQAMA

    you are just a POINT SEEKER seeker I've cheked you'r answers

  • nono
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    "Iqama" is the equivalent to a residence visa in a country.

  • 1 decade ago

    when you work and live in Saudia , you dont use your ID or your Passport.

    you have to give your employer your passport and not move out of the country .

    they give you an Iqama to replace your ID.

    you use it as long as you are in Saudia.

    if you want to go abroad , ie Bahrein, you have to notify your employer. he would give you your passport with an exit visa that expires in a defined time.

    you would gon to the embassy of Bahrein to get an entry visa which expires in a defined time.

    after you go to Bahrein and return to Saudia , you give your employeryour passport and get your Iqama.

    Saudia is very strict about passports and Iqamas.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.