Saudi cabinet approves new expatriate residency scheme

Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved a “green card”-style residency scheme on Tuesday, which allows expatriates to get permanent residency in Kingdom for the first time. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 16 May 2019

Saudi cabinet approves new expatriate residency scheme

  • Privileged Iqama system offers benefits to highly skilled expatriates and owners of capital funds
  • Different from existing iqama system, because residents would not require Saudi sponsor

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved the “Privileged Iqama” residency scheme on Tuesday, which allows expatriates to live and work in the Kingdom without the need of a local sponsor (Kafeel) for the first time.

Plans for the scheme were discussed and rubber-stamped earlier this month by the Shoura Council.

The new Privileged Iqama system offers benefits to highly skilled expatriates and owners of capital funds.

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It is different from the existing iqama system, because residents would not require a Saudi sponsor or employe. 

The new residency scheme — commonly referred to as the Saudi “green card” — was first mentioned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman nearly three years ago as part of the ambitious Vision 2030 plan to open up the kingdom and diversify its economy.


Saudi Education Ministry launches training program

Updated 2 min 14 sec ago

Saudi Education Ministry launches training program

  • The five-day program is aimed at people interested in research and studies on education policies

RIYADH: The Saudi Education Ministry has launched a training program titled “Effective reform foundations for education policies: Research and policymaking,” presented by the Education Policy Research Center in cooperation with the World Bank. 
The five-day program, taking place on Dec. 9-13, is aimed at people interested in research and studies on education policies.
The program’s topics include managing an effective education system, supporting teachers, promoting concepts and means to finance education, building foundations for early childhood education, and strengthening students’ evaluation and curriculums. 
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Bidyawi, the ministry’s undersecretary for planning and development, inaugurated the program.
He said it aims to introduce trainees to the most important issues of education policies to qualify them as researchers in the field, thus contributing to building capacities in the field of improving educational policies and decision-making.
He also shed light on the partnership between the ministry and the World Bank, which aims to implement programs to develop the education system in line with the Saudi leadership’s aspirations and ambitions.