Query about how long to get iqama?

My husband is in the middle of an interview process for a job in Riyadh. He was told today that if he is successful he will have to travel alone as his Iqama will take up to six months and we can't join him until he has that. In the interim he will be on a monthly visa which he will validate by leaving the KSA once a month. Just wanted to check if this is correct. We were prepared for a separation of a couple of months but 6 months is a lot, especially as we have 3 young children. Thanks

Hello irishmom.

Welcome to! :)

In meantime, you can read the other threads on Visas in the Riyadh forum. It can help.

Thank you,


Well i think this iqama thingie totally depends on your Husband's kafeel too, but if i see my Husband case, he got iqama within 2 month , so it depends but surely not more than 3 months as far as i know

It can be very varied, the company will need to have a visa available for an Irish person in your husband's trade. If that is in place it can be very quick, if not it can be much slower. Not a lot of help I know.
I moved out from Ireland and we wife stayed at home with three small babies for a year before coming out. Our delays were not all iqama related.
I would say go for it, there is a good life style here for small children, we love it. We get too do all the things you cannot do at home because it is raining. Both our 4 and 2 year olds can swim already.

The company your husband is in discussion with is not being entirely honest.  If the were playing this straight the Iqama should only take a maximum of three months, during which time he cannot leave Saudi. The initial entry into Saudi he should have a 3 month visa on his passport and the company will take away his passport. Once the Iqama is processed he then can request a visa for you and the children.



mine took 2 weeks.

It should just take 3 weeks for an iqama, and you cannot exit saudi...
The company is not being honest for sure.... they'll not get him an iqama... If they are giving a monthly visa, it means a visit visa or a business visa which has to be renewed by reentering saudi every month. Beware !!!

Thank you all so much for the replies. Will get my husband to push them for a bit more information about the visa type etc. We are really fairly clueless about this so it's great to hear from people who've been through it before.


My husbands iqama took 9 months, we were also told 1 month or 2 months and it ended up being 9 months, he is working for a very big company in saudi Arabia and people who started before him are still waiting so i think you can't say how long it takes as each persons case is different, some people get it quick because the people who deal with their papers are efficient and others might get stuck for a few months.

Mine took 3 weeks and that was during Ramadan!  Everybody was astounded--they'd told me to expect it to take a couple months!

Thanks. Still waiting to hear whether he has the job or not. Fingers crossed (I think!)

i have done some mistake while proposing the kid name and also i got the birth certificate from ahwale madinah,
well,is there  any way to change it?
or can i make a little changes in passport that will be different from birth certificate and will that is possible in the passport?

thank you,

hi... business or visit visa is for a duration of three months in which 1st month extension happens in location where he / she works, second month its bahrai and third exit is to home country... in visit visa there is no legal rule that family cannot come along... if dependent visa is given u can come...

do try to understand what they mean.. here its strict... u cant come here and create ruckus... do all needful stuff before only

Hi reshma kotian,

Thank you for posting and sharing information on the Forum except it's an old thread here and dated 2012 :)

Feel free to start a new topic on the Riyadh Forum for more and better visibility please :)

Thank you


It very much depends on your company. Ive been here 3 weeks now and still waiting for my Iqama, but, to clarify, you keep your passport on you, in this it has a 3 month visa, which is your ID for better purposes. Irish falls under British tag. These are the better visas along with US to apply for. I doubt youll be apart for 6 months unless you get a divorce. will let you know when I get mine

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