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Pinoy Abroad

Use KSA's iqama online inquiry service, OFWs urged

May 13, 2009 7:32pm
MANILA, Philippines - Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Saudi Arabia can now inquire about the status of their iqamas and visa application online, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday.

Citing information from the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Makati City, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said the kingdom’s Ministry of Interior recently launched an online service that would allow Saudi citizens and expatriates to inquire about their Iqamas and visa applications, as well as their eligibility to perform certain procedures.

An iqama is an official identity card saying that the holder is a resident of Saudi Arabia.

Without it, a person will not be able to open a bank account, buy a car, or rent a place to live in Saudi Arabia. The employer usually takes the initiative of ensuring that his or her foreign employee receives an iqama, but the worker is to take care of the renewal.

Roque said OFWs can simply go to www.moi.gov.sa for the needed information – which he said would “spare the OFWs" from going through the tedious process of inquiring directly with concerned offices in Saudi Arabia.

He said the website can also provide Saudi employers a list of foreign workers who have not yet been issued iqamas.

The DOLE chief called on the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) and Filipino groups in the country to inform the OFWs about the new online service.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, remains the top destination for OFWs.

In 2008, a total of 275,933 Filipino workers were deployed to the country – more than a fourth of the total OFW deployment for the year.

The DOLE has POLOs in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar and the Central Region. - Kimberly Jane Tan, GMANews.TV