Can anyone tell me if we have to have our residency visa to purchase/lease a car? If so, how long does it take to get the igama? I suspect, one needs an igama to open a bank account too? And to purchase a phone & satalite service? We are moving over the end of this month and I suspect it will take a few weeks to get anything done, even though we already have a house. Any info you can provide would be helpful! Thanks!
I got my iqama in record time (under three weeks) but it seems to be taking others 5-6 weeks.
Was able to get internet quickly because it was though my place of work and I paid in cash, but you're right about the bank (although somebody I know who was here last year says she didn't need an iquama--maybe it depends on the bank, then. Check around.
Yes, you need the Iqama for everything official you want to contract with anybody in the Kingdom, be it Internet Access, Leasing an Apartment/Villa, Buying/Leasing a Car, Opening a bank Account, etc etc.
The Government authorities have, in recent times, unified the identity of the expat workewr by establishing this Iqama Number requirement in all such transactions which also makes it easier for them to ensure that the expat has settled all his dues/obligations before he leaves the Kingdom for good.
Usually, the New Iqama issuance process can take from one week to 4 weeks depending on how smart the Muaqqib (Government Realtions Officer) within the Company you work for is. I have seen Iqamas issued in 24 hours too. ZNothings impossible if you know the right contacts...
musicman The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn. [Alvin Toffler]
I am also someone new who has just entered the Iqama system of ksa. I will share with u folks what info i have gathered about the cars. About Iqama.....well as someone has rightly pointed out...depends upon the person processing it...my wife got it in three weeks (shes a doctor too like me)...and i "hope" to get mine in another one week. For buying/leasing a car u definitely need a driving license. And of course u need an Iqama for that!! After u get a driving license (which is another process in its own right) u can get a car. Now....depends upon what car u like...a saloon...a truck.....new one...used one....on cash or on lease. If u have cash for a new one...just walk in a car show room and pay...u'll get the car in about 4-5 days (if u have the driving license). If u want to lease it u have to show at least three months' bank statement...but when i checked with the Toyota showroom for the new Camry they say that even one month pay certificate from the company u r working it can be fine pending approval from their head office in Jeddah . The terms of lease are ok....like for the new Crown Victoria...if u pay a down payment of 40,000 u have to then subsequently pay around 1500 SAR per month for a lease period of 3 years (this includes insurance too). It also depends upon ur monthly salary. If u go to the local official show rooms they calculate it for u there and then and let u know. You can get it leased for five years too or make a down payment as low as 10,000 SAR. For used ones...u can get all sort of cars ranging from the price range of 5000 to 150000 SAR depending upon ur budget...e.g a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria (yes! i'm fond of the car!) should cost u something around 40-45 ks.... there is a weekly car sale market on the week ends in all the large cities of ksa.....u can even go there on week days and choose/buy the cars but they tend to be a bit expensive during then. I have been recommended that while buying a second hand car keep two things in mind (as told me by a saudi car buyer/seller in the car market). 1. It should better not have been driven by a local before(i apologise if this is causing offence to anyone) because they are reputed for not taking good care...or for that matter any care....of their cars. There are dedicated show rooms for used cars in the local car market who exclusively sale cars imported directly from abroad...either Japan or America 2. It should not have put more than say 80,000 kms under its wheels. U have to get the car checked first from a mechanic...there is an official garage for it in the car market and there is a payment for that too i think around 200 SAR. Its all have for now...please correct me if i am wrong in any thing... this is all my first hand experience from the local market here in Buraydah (Al-Qassim) and i might have been ill-advised...so please make inquiries of ur own before spending ur money. I will share with u folks when i go through the driving test experience, about which i am quite apprehensive because recently three friends of mine have failed it and they have not even been told why. Ciao!!
Thanks everyone!!! This is all great information that I will share with my husband. Sounds like things are going to be a bit difficult until he gets his igama! Ugh! I was hoping we could get a bunch of things accomplished (igama, purchase the car, furniture for the house, open the bank account, phones, satelite, etc., before we come back to the states for the Christmas Holiday. The good news is that we can at least get the house going.
Malyhere - best of luck when you take your drivers test!
We happen to have a car for sale as we are moving back home. The vehicle, Jeep Commander 4.7l Model 2007 bought September 2008 with 37,000 km on odometer with full history by Agents in Riyadh ....with a lot of extras to make camping in the desert a pleasure!
please contact on macml[at]microsoft.com to buy outrite or take over payments
And for interrest sake expats sell vehicles and advertise in the compounds so always a good place to start your search - as they will have a "history"