Many of the official documents in Saudi Arabia have expiry dates, and understanding when and how to renew them is crucial for residents and expatriates.
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Official Documents in Saudi Arabia with Expiry and Renewal
Here’s a detailed look at each document’s expiry and renewal conditions:
1. Iqama (Residence Permit)
Iqama is a residence permit issued to expatriates who arrive in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa. This card is a critical document that serves as a proof of legal residency, and it is required for almost all transactions, including opening bank accounts, getting a driving license, and receiving medical care. For Expat in Saudia, there are multiple ways to Check Iqama’s Expiry. One way is to use the mol iqama expiry check website.
- Expiry: Typically valid for 1 or 2 years.
- Renewal: Should be renewed before expiry. The employer usually handles the renewal process for expatriate workers. It’s essential to ensure that your passport and work permit are also valid to renew the Iqama.
2. Saudi National ID
For Saudi citizens, the Saudi National ID card is a mandatory identity document. It serves as an official identification for various purposes, such as voting, banking, and domestic travel.
- Expiry: Valid for 5 or 10 years, depending on the age and choice of the citizen.
- Renewal: Can be renewed through the Absher platform or at Civil Affairs offices. Renewal should be initiated six months before expiry.
A visa is essential for entering Saudi Arabia. There are various types of visas, including tourist, business, family visit, and employment visas. Each visa has specific requirements and is issued for different purposes.
- Expiry: Depends on the type of visa; tourist visas typically last for one year with multiple entries allowed, while work visas are tied to the contract length or Iqama validity.
- Renewal: Not applicable as visas are issued for specific durations and purposes. New applications must be made for new visas.
A valid passport is required for all international travel. For expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, the passport must be kept valid at all times and is required for renewing the Iqama.
- Expiry: Generally valid for 5 to 10 years, depending on the country of issuance.
- Renewal: Renew through the passport holder’s home country embassy or consulate in Saudi Arabia before expiry.
5. Driving License
To drive in Saudi Arabia, residents and expatriates need a valid Saudi driving license. Foreign licenses can be used for a short period by tourists and visitors, but residents must obtain a local license.
- Expiry: Valid for 2, 5, or 10 years.
- Renewal: Can be renewed through the Absher platform or at traffic police offices. It’s advisable to renew a few weeks before expiry.
6. Vehicle Registration (Istimara)
For vehicle owners, having a valid vehicle registration document, known as Istimara, is mandatory. It needs to be renewed periodically and is required for vehicle-related transactions.
- Expiry: Valid for 3 years.
- Renewal: Can be renewed online through the Absher platform. Renewal should be done before expiry to avoid fines.
7. Health Insurance Card
Health insurance is compulsory for all expatriates in Saudi Arabia. The health insurance card must be carried to access medical services in private and public healthcare facilities.
- Expiry: Typically aligned with the Iqama validity for expatriates, usually 1 or 2 years.
- Renewal: Automatically renewed when the employer renews the expatriate’s Iqama. Individuals should confirm with their employer or insurance provider.
8. Work Permit
The work permit is issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and is typically arranged by the employer, who also acts as the sponsor (Kafeel) for the expatriate employee.
- Expiry: Usually aligned with the Iqama, valid for 1 or 2 years.
- Renewal: The employer is responsible for renewing the work permit. It should be done before the Iqama expires.
9. Exit/Re-entry Permit
The Exit/Re-entry Permit is a document that allows expatriates living in Saudi Arabia to leave the country temporarily and return within a specified period. This permit is essential for expatriates planning to travel outside Saudi Arabia and then return.
- Expiry: Valid from a few weeks up to 6 months, depending on the type issued.
- Renewal: Not applicable. A new permit must be obtained for each travel.
10. Birth Certificate
For those born in Saudi Arabia, a Saudi birth certificate is issued and is necessary for various legal processes, including school registration and passport application.
- Expiry: Does not expire.
- Renewal: Not applicable.
For most documents in Saudi Arabia with an expiry date, it’s advisable to initiate the renewal process well in advance to avoid any legal issues or fines. The renewal procedures are often streamlined through digital platforms like Absher, making it easier for residents and expatriates to maintain their legal status in Saudi Arabia.