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Is there a way to send money without an iqama?

 
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Joese



Joined: 12 Apr 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Is there a way to send money without an iqama? Reply with quote

I just started a job and won't have an iqama for a few weeks. Is there a way to send money overseas without one?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12696
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Joese,

A search turned this up:

"I've been in both positions, both working legally and illegally here. I arrived on a 'Work Visit' visa, and then later my employer gave me a trip abroad to get it changed into an iqama. This is probably quite uncommon though. I would imagine a lot of employers who bring you in on a work visit visa will have no intention of making you legal.

First of all, if you come into Saudi on the same 'Work Visit' visa that I did, you'll notice the statement in bold letters in the middle of the visa which says: "Not permitted to work". So, no matter what BS your employer feeds you, if you're working, according to your official paperwork, you're breaking the law.

The main downside for me, being without an iqama, was that I couldn't send money home by myself. I had to get a friend, with an iqama, to do it. If none of your co-workers have iqamas, and you don't know anyone else, you'll be stockpiling bundles of riyals in your apartment. Any financial commitments at home will not be reliably covered each month. You might, might, be able to use Western Union, with just your passport, but they charge exorbitant rates.

If you get sick and go to hospital then you may well run into difficulties too. If you don't have an iqama you'll be asked to pay for all medicine/treatment. I was lucky in that when I got sick I had just arrived, and had to tell them I hadn't yet received my iqama, so they let me off with paying. This example of kindness shown by medical staff is arbitrary and by no means guaranteed. If you feel you must go to Saudi, I recommend you take out international insurance with 'Seven Corners'. It's by no means perfect, but at least it's some type of coverage.

If your employer takes your passport, and you have no iqama, you'll be walking around Saudi Arabia, a police state, with no valid form of ID. You can get detained for this. It was never an issue for me, but I do know of one other teacher at my school who was detained. It was only temporary, of course, but still not a nice experience.

I agree that, in some ways, you become more restricted when you get an iqama. However, with an iqama you are, at least, working legally. You can open a bank account and send money home each month, and you don't have to feel paranoid about breaking the law in a country with harsh punishments for just about every offence, whether minor or not."

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=92330&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=transfer+money+iqama&start=15

Here's the link to the search results for "transfer money without iqama."

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/search.php?mode=results

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12303
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iqama is required for remittances. Find someone who has an Iqama and do it through him.
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fledex



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Telemoney" used to transfer money without asking for an iqama.
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1Sapphire1



Joined: 17 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have an iqama.
My employer "loads" my salary onto a Bank Albilad debit card.
(I think it is more like a gift card)
I can take out 5000 per day, (with no fee).
I then go to Tahweel Al Rajhi bank, (where I have a "Remitter Card")
and can wire the money to the US.
I give them a copy of my passport 1st page and visa page each time.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12303
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New one to me !
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because they have all these workers with illegal visas, they have had to come up with some systems to allow them to get the money out of the country.

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12696
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But I'll bet that since it's a "jury-rigged process," success/failure in being able to do qa transfer will be even more of a "hit/miss" situation than usual.

Some places/people may say. "OK, sure - we can do that" while others might say, "No, that's not possible."

You may have to just keep asking around until you get lucky.

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12303
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SAMA - Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency tells the banks how to operate. They are very keen on free movement of movement and view any restrictions as totally "Haram". Exchange control and restrictions on remittances have always been a total taboo.

Maybe they have own the argument with the "Jawazat", who always want to control everything !
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trapezius



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 1669
Location: Land of Culture of Death & Destruction

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When i was at UOH, those on business visas used to take their monthly cheque to the bank on which it was drawn, presented their passport, and did a combination of cashing part of it and transferring most of it to their bank account back home. And that was in 2006.

So, yes.
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gelynch52ph



Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:24 am    Post subject: Answer to the original poster Reply with quote

Until you have your iqama you can't send money yourself. You need to find someone with an iqama to do it for you but that means a couple of things. One, even Saudis have an iqama because that is only the national ID, not just for foreigners. Second, the person sending money for you has to be able to prove (unless the remittance clerk is remiss in his duty) that he earns enough money to be able to send however much you send out. On other words, your Bengali driver or the Filipino waiter you meet will probably not be able to do it for you.

In answer to johnslat, I ask, where do people get these visas I see mentioned called "Work Visit Visas?" To my knowledge the only visas are Work Visa (I've never seen one), Government Visit Visa, Business Visa and the various religious visas. The only one a person is permitted to work on is a Work Visa and they all must be obtained in your home country.

Actually that "home country" business is only because the embassies are too lazy to do the paperwork necessary to transfer a visa allocated to a certain nationality from one country embassy to another. It could be done if they wanted to, but I seem to think Saudis don't trust the internet or fax to transmit documents between embassies. Therefore an American working in Korea but getting a new job in KSA has to go to America rather than having the embassy transmit the documents to Seoul.

The same thing affects me every time I am hired in KSA because I'm American but I live in The Philippines. When I go to KSA I am always on the Business Visa or Government Visit Visa and legally not allowed to work.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12303
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Male Saudi citizens have an ID card but it is NOT an Iqama. Has a different name which escapes me at the moment.
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