Green card only for foreign investors, top expats

Updated 14 June 2016

Green card only for foreign investors, top expats

JEDDAH: Saudi green card will only be given to foreign investors and highly qualified experts among expats, according to a top Shoura Council official.
He said a number of ministries are still studying the procedures of granting the permanent residence card. The regulations will be announced soon.
Speaking to Arab News, Fahd bin Jumaa, vice president of Economic Committee at the consultative body, said the Kingdom expects to reap economic benefits generated by experts in the expat community.
Many expats are eyeing the card that will enable them to stay in the Kingdom.
“The new system will be similar to the US residence model. The Saudi government is interested in taking advantage of foreign investors and extraordinary expats,” bin Jumaa said.
Awad Al-Assiri, a Shoura Council member, previously told Arab News that the plan would be discussed in the body’s full sessions, in the same way other legislation is studied before being passed to the Cabinet for approval.
“The green card will attract foreign investment to the Kingdom. Many expatriates will take advantage of the new program. At the same time, the Kingdom will benefit from the fees paid by expats to have a green card,” he said.
The system is expected to generate around $10 billion annually through reduced remittances and other sources, besides bringing in billions of dollars in foreign investment, say economic experts.
The plan will abolish the existing sponsorship system, with expatriates required to pay Zakat and possibly value-added tax.
The card will also allow them to own property and undertake business activities. The Kingdom is home to over 10 million foreign workers.

Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

Updated 22 April 2019

Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

  • Al-Issa lauds Russian model of national harmony and coexistence
  • Al-Issa also met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament last month

MOSCOW: The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa held a meeting with the president of the Russian People’s Council, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and other council members, where they discussed issues of common interest.

They looked into means of boosting cooperation between Russia and the Muslim world, supporting positive national integration programs and countering extremist speeches and Islamophobia.

Al-Issa lauded the Russian model of national harmony and coexistence, while Ordzhonikidze presented Al-Issa with a copy of the council’s yearly report.

At the meeting the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to share their experiences in the fight against extremist ideologies, the promotion of interreligious dialogue and coexistence and the implementation of joint projects to achieve shared goals. They also stressed the pure and peaceful values of Islam and rejected all forms of extremism and Islamophobia.

The meeting was attended by the Russian deputy chairman of the Committee for the Development of Agriculture, Aygun Memedov, the chairman of the Committee on the Normalization of Relations Between Nationalities and Religions, Sheikh Albert Karganov, the Mufti of Moscow and the Khanti-Mansisk Region in Siberia Sheikh Tahir Samatov.

Last month, Al-Issa met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin. They discussed subjects related to promoting and supporting dialogue among followers of different religions and civilizations, activating cultural contacts and exchanges between the Muslim world and Russia.

Al-Issa signed a cooperation agreement between the MWL and Moscow’s Fund for Islamic Culture, Science and Education. The agreement focused on tackling extremism and promoting tolerance. The agreement stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against extremism, intolerance, aggression and hostility among religions, races and ideologies that could lead to terrorism.

Both parties agreed to exchange information on the activities of scientific centers, cultural forums and websites.