Check Iqama Color Status: Red, Green, Yellow, Platinum | Nitaqat System 2023

If you’re living and working in Saudi Arabia, you may be familiar with the term “iqama” – which refers to the residency permit that foreign workers must carry at all times. One important aspect of the iqama is its color status, which can be either red, green, or yellow. But what do these colors mean, and how can you check your iqama color status?

What is the meaning of Iqama Color?

The iqama color status is tied to the Saudi government’s Nitaqat system, which is designed to promote local hiring and encourage businesses to hire Saudi citizens. Companies are classified into different categories based on the number of Saudi nationals they employ, and these categories are color-coded as follows:

  • Green: Companies with high numbers of Saudi employees
  • Yellow: Companies with a moderate number of Saudi employees
  • Red: Companies with a low number of Saudi employees

As a foreign worker, your iqama color status is determined by the color of your employer’s category. For example, if your employer is classified as green, your iqama will also be green. If your employer is classified as red, your iqama will be red.

How to check iqama color is green or red

To check the Iqama color status (red, green, yellow, or platinum) and determine the category of your company, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the website of the Ministry of Labor (mol.gov.sa).
  2. Look for the option to check the Iqama numberرقم الإقامة” on the website.
  3. Enter your Iqama number or Muqeem card number in the designated box labeled “رقم الإقامة” or “Iqama Number.”
  4. Enter the verification code shown in the picture. This step ensures that you are a human user and not a bot.
  5. Click on the search button, usually labeled as “بحث” or “Search.”
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen “نتيجة البحث“.
  7. Look for a colored box that indicates the category of your company. The color of the box will represent the Iqama color status.
How to check iqama color green or red

What is the Nitaqat System?

The Nitaqat System categorizes companies into four main categories based on their Saudization level: Platinum, Green, Yellow, and Red. Each category has a different percentage requirement for Saudi employees, and the corresponding Iqama colors are assigned accordingly.

  • Platinum: Companies in this category have achieved the highest Saudization level, employing a significant number of Saudi citizens. Their employees have green Iqama status, providing them with various privileges and benefits.
  • Green: Companies in the green category meet the Saudization requirements to a satisfactory extent. Employees of these companies have green Iqama status, granting them certain advantages and job security.
  • Yellow: Companies in the yellow category have not met the Saudization requirements, but they are not classified as non-compliant. Employees of these companies have yellow Iqama status, with limited benefits compared to green Iqama holders.
  • Red: Companies in the red category have failed to meet the Saudization requirements, indicating a lack of commitment to employing Saudi citizens. Employees of these companies have red Iqama status, which comes with severe limitations and restrictions.

The benefits associated with different Iqama color categories (red, green, yellow, and platinum):

Green Category (Compliant):

  • Easier visa processing for foreign workers.
  • Ability to transfer sponsorships without permission.
  • Flexibility in changing professions.
  • Early renewal of employee Iqamas.
  • Priority in government contracts and tenders.
  • Priority in accessing government services.
  • Potential eligibility for additional incentives and privileges.

Red Category (Non-Compliant):

  • Limitations on obtaining new visas for foreign employees.
  • Restrictions on transferring sponsorships.
  • Inability to renew employee Iqamas.
  • Limited ability to change professions.
  • Ineligibility to open new branches.
  • Limited access to government contracts and tenders.
  • Higher scrutiny from labor authorities.

Yellow Category (Previously Existing, now moved to Red):

  • Similar restrictions and limitations as the red category due to its abolishment as of January 26, 2020.

Platinum Category (Exceptional Compliance):

  • Enhanced benefits compared to the green category.
  • Greater priority in government contracts and tenders.
  • Expedited visa processing for foreign workers.
  • Streamlined procedures for sponsorship transfers.
  • Recognition as a top performer in Saudization efforts.
  • Potential eligibility for additional incentives and privileges.

It’s important to note that the specific benefits and privileges may vary, and the government may introduce additional initiatives or incentives for different categories over time. The Nitaqat system is designed to encourage companies to prioritize the employment of Saudi nationals and comply with Saudization requirements, with the aim of creating more employment opportunities for the local workforce.

Conclusion

Checking your Iqama color status is essential for expatriates working in Saudi Arabia to understand their work and residency rights. The Nitaqat System, represented by red, green, and yellow Iqama colors, plays an important role in regulating the employment of foreign workers. By staying informed about your Iqama color status, you can ensure compliance with local regulations, access benefits, and make informed decisions regarding your career in the Kingdom.

FAQs

1. How often does the iqama color status change?

Your iqama color status is tied to your employer’s Nitaqat category, which can change over time depending on their hiring practices. However, your iqama color status will typically only change when you renew your residency permit or change employers.

2. Can I change my iqama color status?

As a foreign worker, you cannot directly change your iqama color status – it is determined by your employer’s Nitaqat category. However, you can encourage your employer to hire more Saudi nationals, which could improve their Nitaqat category and your iqama color status as a result.

3. What should I do if my iqama color status is red?

If your iqama color status is red, it means that your employer has a low number of Saudi employees. This could potentially put your residency permit at risk, so it’s important to encourage your employer to hire more Saudi nationals. You could also consider changing employers in order to improve your iqama color status.

4. Are there any penalties for companies with a red iqama color status?

Companies with a red iqama color status may face penalties or fines from the Saudi government, as part of the Nitaqat system. These penalties could include restrictions on business activities or a reduction in their ability to hire foreign workers.

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