RIYADH: The Premium Residency Center has announced the granting of the first batch of applicants for premium residency in the Kingdom after they met the system’s requirements.
The center said in a statement issued on Monday that the first batch of premium residency holders included a number of residents inside the Kingdom, and others from outside, as their applications have been studied and processed over the past months according to procedures.
The number of premium residency holders in this batch amounted to 73 people representing 19 nationalities.
Their categories included investors, doctors and those willing to settle with their families, while processing is continuing for the rest of the applications.
The center said that it had received thousands of applications through its electronic platform from inside and outside the Kingdom in recent months, where specialized teams from the center are studying applications and communicating with applicants to ensure the maintaining of conditions set by the premium residency system.
The program took effect three years after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced it as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans.
The new system will not undermine citizens’ rights, rather it will serve their interests, the crown prince said in an interview with Al Arabia TV.
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.
There are two types of premium residency: Permanent Premium Residency with a one-time payment for life SR800,000 ($213,000), and Premium Residency with a yearly financial fee and many privileges costing SR100,000.
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.