People from all over the world apply for their Saudi Arabian visa in order to come to Saudi Arabia to do business, work, and make it their permanent home. At the moment, there are more than 10 million foreign nationals living and working in Saudi Arabia.
Yet so far, it was almost impossible for citizens of other countries to migrate to Saudi Arabia without a sponsor: workers needed an employer to sponsor them, and investors were required to have an investment establishment as a sponsor.
A radical change has been made thanks to the new Saudi Premium Residency (also known as “the Saudi Green Card”).
What Is the Saudi Green Card?
The Saudi Premium Residency was recently introduced, taking effect as of June 2019. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted that it’s part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan that was announced 3 years ago and it’s aimed at boosting the national economy and serving the best interests of Saudi citizens.
A Premium Residency grants many rights, including:
- Residence in Saudi Arabia with one’s family
- Visit visas for family members to Saudi Arabia
- Ability to hire and invite domestic workers from abroad
- Possibility to own real estate and private means of transportation (conditions apply)
- Leaving and returning to Saudi Arabia as needed
- Working at private businesses and changing jobs (excluding jobs that are limited to Saudi citizens)
Who Can Apply for the Saudi Green Card?
The Saudi Permanent Residency scheme is designed to give those who wish to live and invest in Saudi Arabia a chance to do so without having a Saudi investor backing their application.
Because of the requirements and fees, it’s likely that the scheme will mostly benefit wealthy foreign nationals who have already lived in Saudi Arabia for some time on temporary visas and have decided to make it their home.
The Saudi Green Card will also represent a fast and hassle-free way of getting into the Saudi market for those international companies that are considering it for the future but are worried about lengthy paperwork.
Those who are not looking for a permanent residency and/or don’t wish to invest in the required fee for the time being, may find the Saudi eVisa a better solution.
The Saudi eVisa online application will be launched soon and will allow foreigners to apply for and obtain a temporary visa to Saudi Arabia entirely online. All they’ll have to do will be filling out the online form and pay the necessary fee.
How to Apply for the Saudi Green Card Online
Foreigners wondering about the Saudi Green Card application process will be pleased to read that the program is already active and applications are already being accepted. The process is also quick and straightforward.
Applications for the new Saudi Green Card are handled by the Premium Residency Center (which is associated with the Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs) and will be submitted and managed online.
Applicants will need to log into the dedicated electronic SAPRC platform and follow the instructions. They will need to include all the necessary information and upload mandatory documentation.
Applicants will be able to choose between 2 types of Saudi Green Card depending on their plans and finances:
- The Saudi Permanent Premium Residency will be valid for the entirety of the foreign resident’s life. It’s paid only once and costs SR 800,000 ($ 213,000).
- The Saudi Premium Residency has a yearly fee of SR 100,000.
This is to further promote inclusivity and flexibility, allowing applicants of different backgrounds and needs to sign up for a program that matches their circumstances.