The programme, approved in May, is the latest sign of how the quest for non-oil revenue is prompting Gulf nations to rethink the role of foreigners in their societies.
Monday 24, June 2019
(Bloomberg)--Saudi Arabia has opened applications for a permanent residency programme designed to attract foreign investment to the Kingdom and it will cost SAR 800,000.
The programme also offers a cheaper option, with a one-year renewable residency permit costing SAR 100,000.
According to the website for applications, the premium residencies will allow foreigners to buy the property and do business without the need for a Saudi sponsor, switch jobs as well as exit the Kingdom easily and sponsor visas for family members.
The permanent residency programme requires applicants to be at least 21 years old, prove financial solvency as well as have a clean criminal record and bill of health on top of the SAR 800,000 application fee.
The UAE approved a plan to allow wealthy foreigners to apply for a 10-year stay, while Qatar passed a law that’ll grant some permanent residencies.
The idea for a long-term Saudi residency programme was first announced in 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as a part of his plan to reduce the economy’s reliance on oil and boost foreign direct investment (FDI).
The program is projected to generate about $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
While Saudi Arabia is seeking to encourage the affluent to stay, monthly fees imposed on foreign workers and their families, along with sluggish economic growth, have prompted hundreds of thousands of expatriates to leave.