2003 News Story

Fingerprinting of pilgrims to begin in Shawwal

The Department of Passports has announced that issuance of the new electronic iqama (residence permit) cards for expatriates will begin in Riyadh November 25, corresponding to Shawwal 1, and that on the same day, fingerprinting of foreign pilgrims on their arrival in the Kingdom will start. The new system has the aim of eradicating forgery and solving the problem of pilgrims who overstay. The new iqamas will be introduced in phases throughout the rest of the country beginning January 2004, with expatriate workers receiving them when renewing their residence permit or applying for a new one. The card will carry a thumbprint as well as a photo and all personal information including name and job.