Saudi expats welcome 5 year Iqama terms and online services

Published:  14 Mar at 6 PM
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The recent introduction of online services for Saudi government transactions is proving popular with expats and citizens alike.

Traditionally, obtaining and renewing the essential Iqama permit has been a stressful experience for Singapore’s expat employees across the board. Since the new electronic service was unveiled, it’s been recognised as a great improvement due to its much smaller and less complicated paperwork requirements, whatever the reason for its use. Expats from across the world working in Saudi Arabia are expressing appreciation of the time saved in negotiating the traditionally sticky Saudi bureaucratic requirements.

One grateful expat told reporters that the new service was helping to make expat life in the kingdom much easier. According to an expat IT manager, the newly introduced 5-year Iqama is the most welcome change, as applicants must have their bank accounts suspended whilst the residence permit is being processed. Now that process time is far less than under the old system, the inconvenience caused has been much minimised.

An expat teacher working in Saudi is optimistic that the 5-year permit will allow her and her family to visit all the GCC states without the need to apply for exit permits. Due to the school calendar, she is only able to take short holidays with her family, making the need for the permit every time an inconvenience.

Another recent new ruling is proving far less welcome for expats with small families. The recently introduced law prevents those with families of five or less from buying cars with seven seats or more such as SUVs. The reason given by the country’s Directorate of Traffic is that it will prevent expats taking their children to school illegally or using their larger vehicles for paid passenger transportation.
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