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

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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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.

 


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.