Fines, penal action for failing to renew iqama on time

Fines, penal action for failing to renew iqama on time


JEDDAH — Employers have to pay fines for any delay in the issuance or renewal of residence permits (iqamas) of expatriate workers under their sponsorship, the Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) announced on its website.

Employers will have to pay a fine of SR500 if they fail to renew the iqamas three days before expiry.

The fine will be increased to SR1,000 if the delay is committed the second time. The expat worker will be deported in the event of repetition of the violation for a third time, Al-Madina newspaper reported quoting Jawazat sources.

The sources also noted that Jawazat will take punitive measures against those firms which employ illegal workers. The penalties for the first time violation will be fines amounting to SR25,000, one-year recruitment ban, and deportation of the concerned manager if he is an expatriate. For a repeat violation, fines will be SR50,000 in addition to two-year
recruitment ban, six-month jail term for the manager with deportation if he is a foreigner, besides publishing the name of the firm. Fines will be hiked to SR100,000 for a third violation, in addition to five-year recruitment ban, one-year jail term for the manager with deportation if he is a foreigner, besides publishing the name of the firm.

However, sources indicated that the Ministry of Labor and Social Development might approach the National Information Center, under the Ministry of Interior, with a request to exempt those who have delayed issuance or renewal of iqamas due to the Shamoon malware attack. It is noted that only the Center has the jurisdiction to exempt the violators from facing penal action.


  1. “If the employers fail to renew the iqamas for the third time, the expat worker will be deported”.

    Shouldn’t the employer be deported, and the expat will be allowed to transfer to a new job or exit the county if he wishes so?
    If the employer is a local national, then he should be banned for a certain period to recruit foreigners, but Saudis usually change hands of the business under the wife’s name or a brother’s, so the attitude will stay, if the violating employer is not punished..

  2. Is it not fair that the authorities should pay penalty of SR500 to every iqama holder for delay on their part to renew iqama, whatever the reason, in much the same way the iqama holder is penalized for delay in renewal. Also the freezing of accounts by banks is as though they are treating criminals and money launderers. In situations like fault on part of authorities to renew iqama, is it not fair that banks should not only lift the freezing of accounts but also pay penalty to people for inconvenience caused for no mistake of people.

  3. Easiest way out is to deport the employee for any reason. The sponsor doesnt renew the Igama on time – deport the poor soul! Pathetic!

  4. I paid an amount of SR 2500+650 for renewal of my Iqama from my pocket as my company doesnt have money. But still my iqama is not renewed because of the virus attack. My iqama expires in 2 days and I am in a helpless situation as my bank account will be blocked soon and if police catch me they will arrest. I may have to pay additional fine now for iqama renewal. No one knows what is the solution. They only way I can show my frustration is write this comment.