March of this year the Ministry of Interior (Department of Passports “Jawazat”) announced requiring female expatriates who apply to amend, replace or request a residence permit (iqama) needs to undergo or submit their fingerprints in order to receive a valid residence permit or work permit or iqama. In the past, only male expatriates were required to submit fingerprints as part of their residence permit application process. Though, all expatriates (female or male) are required to submit a new set of fingerprints when replacing a lost Iqama, changing the profession on an already issued Iqama or applying for transfer of sponsorship.
The Saudi Government implemented this new protocols and requirements to centralize information pertaining to all foreign nationals while introducing stricter measures to monitor the flow of foreign nationals into the country. You can check at Ministry of Interior web site to know if your fingerprint were already updated. Just enter your Iqama or Work Permit number in the box provided next to “identity number” and click “view” to know your current status.
HOWEVER, kindly be informed that just recently a new rule regarding fingerprinting have been implemented with little to no advance notice. Be aware that the immigration assigned in any Saudi international airports will require expatriates to submit a new fingerprint as required prior stamping of an exit or exit re-entry visa on their respective passport. BUT guys it is not only for Expats; for Saudi nationals too. This time however, expats will only submit both hands index finger to undergo or comply the said new directives. – BongA