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Privileged Iqama Benefits, Requirements, Types and Application Process

Privileged iqama is a newly introduced permanent residency by saudi government. Benefits and procedure of new privileged iqama are explained in this article..

New privileged iqama process, benefits and requirements
On 14th May 2019, the cabinet of Saudi Arabia’s government approved a new green card style iqama residency scheme. The proposal of the new residency program was put forth by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Muhammad Bin Salman in 2016 but it was approved in 2019. A new Iqama known as “Privileged Iqama” will be given under the new residency program. [Suggested]: Avoid penalty if iqama lost.  

The main feature of privileged iqama it will allow foreigners to live and work in the kingdom without any need of Saudi keel or sponsor, the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia. According to Crown Prince, new iqama is green style iqama which will give more freedom and rights to foreigners, but it won’t give the right to apply for citizenship. 

What are the Benefits of Privileged Iqama?

New iqama residency scheme is going to bring a lot of benefits to residents. List of Some significant benefits is as follows:
  • Privileged iqama holder can bring his family to live in KSA.
  • It allows foreigners to work in Saudi Arabia without kafeel or sponsor.
  • Right to apply for visit visas for relatives.
  • New iqama holder can recruit domestic workers.
  • Can live in Saudi Arabia for an indefinite period.
  • Eligibility to buy vehicles and property under own name.
  • Can start a business without a local partner.
  • There will be no need to get exit and re-entry visa under this privileged iqama scheme.
  • Privileged iqama holder can use special designate queues at Saudi Arabia’s international airports.
  • Foreign residents who have enough qualification, they can work in any private sectors.

Requirements for Privileged Iqama:

Applicants who want to apply for new privileged iqama, they need to meet specific requirements. The list of main conditions is as follows:
  • The first and foremost requirement is to have enough financial resources to qualify for new iqama.
  • A valid passport.
  • Age must be 21 or above.
  • Police clearance certificate to prove good character.
  • Medical fitness certificate, the applicant have to buy medical insurance in the kingdom additionally.
  • If already living in Saudi Arabia, current Iqama must be valid.

Privileged Iqama Types and Fee:

There will be two types of Iqama under new residency scheme, Temporary privileged iqama and Permanent privileged iqama.

Temporary privileged iqama will be granted for one year. However, It can be renewed every year. SAR 100,000 will be charged as iqama fee. Temporary iqama is same as the temporary residency of a country.

Permanent privileged iqama will be granted for an indefinite period. The one-time fee for permanent privileged iqama will be 800,000 SAR. It will give the right to live and work in the Kingdom forever. Unlike conventional iqama or temporary iqama, there will be no expiry date for this iqama. It will be valid forever.

[Suggested]: What to do if iqama lost?

Cancellation of Privileged Iqama:

Although new iqama is going to bring more freedom and rights yet It may subject to cancellation if the iqama holder violates Saudi Arabia’s laws. As specified by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior, privileged iqama can be cancelled in the following situations:
  • Information provided in the iqama application proved false.
  • Iqama holder committed a crime in KSA and convicted for imprisonment for more than sixty days and 100,000 SAR fine.
  • Deportation orders from Court.
In the case of privileged iqama cancellation, the status of dependents and family members will also be affected. However, the family member can apply for separate privileged iqama if he/she qualifies and meet the requirements.

[Suggested]: Check your medical test report online.

Where to Apply for New Privileged Iqama?

The Government of Saudi Arabia has launched a designated website for those who want to apply for Privileged Iqama. It is called “Premium Residency Center”. Premium or privileged can be applied inside Saudi Arabia as well as outside the kingdom. Application for new privileged Iqama can be submitted online at which is an official portal of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior.

[Suggested]: MOI Absher Saudi Arabia registration and benefits.


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