Saudi ‘green card’ online platform is open for business

Saudi Arabia on Sunday launched a new special residency scheme aimed at boosting investment and non-oil revenues. (Shutterstock)
Updated 24 June 2019
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Saudi ‘green card’ online platform is open for business

  • The scheme will allow expats to do business without a Saudi sponsor, buy property and sponsor visas for relatives
  • Approved by the Saudi cabinet last month, but the portal began accepting applications on Sunday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Premium Residency scheme took effect on Sunday, three years after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the program as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

The crown prince stressed in an interview with Al Arabia TV that the new system will not undermine citizens’ rights, rather it will serve their interests. 

He affirmed that the Premium Residency will be an important source of revenues to boost the Saudi economy and will contribute to the creation of jobs for the public.

On Sunday, the Premium Residency Center began receiving applications for the new residency system through the electronic platform SAPRC (saprc.gov.sa).

 

RIGHTS AND BENEFITS

The Permanent Premium Residency costs SR800,000 ($213,000) paid once, while the Premium Residency costs SR100,000 annually.

Rights and privileges:

• Residence in the Kingdom with one’s family.

• Visit visas for relatives.

• Recruitment of domestic workers from abroad.

• Ownership of real estate for residential, commercial and industrial purposes, in areas other than the cities of Makkah and Madinah and border areas.

• Usufruct rights on real estate in Makkah and Madinah for a period not exceeding 99 years.

• Ownership of private means of transportation and other movables.

• Working at private establishments with the ability to change jobs; this shall extend to family members. Professions and jobs limited to Saudis shall be excluded.

• Exiting and entering the Kingdom at one’s own accord.

• Use of lanes designated for Saudis at the Kingdom’s exit and entry points.

• Engagement in business activities in accordance with the Foreign Investment Law.

On the platform, applicants can upload all the required documents and pay the necessary fees. The platform also provides an introduction to the system and the center, which offers two types of Saudi Premium Residency: Permanent Premium Residency with a one-time payment for life, and Premium Residency with a yearly financial fee and many privileges.

The initiative, approved last month by the Cabinet under King Salman’s chairmanship, gives those who wish to reside or invest in Saudi Arabia an attractive investment environment that will achieve economic growth and development.

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No sponsor? No problem: Saudi Shoura Council approves new ‘green card’ residency

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The center is a financially and administratively independent entity associated with the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which cooperates with government sectors to provide comprehensive services for those with Saudi Premium Residency and those wishing to obtain it.

The Permanent Premium Residency costs SR800,000 ($213,000) paid once, while the Premium Residency costs SR100,000 annually. 

The Premium Residency is different from the Investor Residency in that the holder of the former is not associated with a sponsor, while the holder of the latter must have an investment establishment as a sponsor. 

Analysts say the program will largely benefit wealthy individuals who have lived in Saudi Arabia for years without permanent residency or multinational companies seeking to do long-term business in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is currently home to some 10 million overseas workers.

Expat workers are typically sponsored by a Saudi employer and are required to get visas to exit and enter the Kingdom.

 


Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, president of the Saudi Ports Authority

Updated 17 min 42 sec ago
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Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, president of the Saudi Ports Authority

Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb has been president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) since 2018.

On Thursday, he and other officials greeted the first group of Sudanese Hajj pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom by sea.

Al-Khalb said the operational plan prepared for this year’s Hajj aims to receive 22,000 pilgrims through Jeddah Islamic Port, a 37 percent increase from 2018.

The authority, in cooperation with various government sectors and agencies, aims to ensure Hajj pilgrims’ comfort during their stay in the Kingdom.

Jeddah Islamic Port will receive pilgrims until Aug. 6, and more than 266 personnel will be involved in overseeing this year’s Hajj season.

These workers will include maritime pilots, ship captains, technical and operational supervisors, security teams and technical affairs managers.

Al-Khalb holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

He served as vice chairman of the Saudi Civil Aviation Holding Co., and was a member of the board of directors at the General Authority of Civil Aviation.

Al-Khalb served as deputy transport minister from 2017 to 2018. He also held several senior positions in the private sector. Most recently, he was CEO of the Saudi British Bank (SABB).

He has more than 25 years’ experience, having started his career at a number of specialized companies such as the Advanced Electronics Co. and Schlumberger, an oilfield services firm.