Saudi Arabia Grants First Premium Residencies to Expats

Saudi Arabia’s Premium Residency Center (SAPRC) has just announced that it has granted “Premium Residencies” to around 70 people that met the initiative’s criteria – including some that had applied from overseas, and others who are currently living in Saudi Arabia. Those that managed to attain the residencies come from over 15 different countries and have jobs in the financial, investment, medical and engineering sectors.

The kingdom first launched the application process for this initiative in June this year, and SAPRC also mentioned that they received thousands of applications, and handpicked the accepted ones. Other important factors in being able to obtain a premium residency include being the minimum age of 21, having clean criminal and health records and proving financial stability. The scheme facilitates long term visas for expats and their families and privileges that were previously not granted to non-Saudis.

The visa allows for the residents to leave and come back to the country without the approval of a sponsor, and can now also use lanes, at the airports, that are designated to just Saudi nationals, and can also apply for visas for their family. Premium residents can now also purchase homes, commercial property and industrial buildings in border areas of major cities. Not only that, expats working within private companies without requiring a sponsor is a huge benefit, and those who have managed to get a premium residency permit, can now change jobs without having to leave the kingdom.

The premium residency initiative was first announced by the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to be in line with Vision 2030, in 2016, and spoke about plans to issue a “Green Card” like residency permits to expats. Saudi Arabia’s cabinet and Shura Council approved the scheme earlier this year and saw the first 73 expats granted with a Premium Residency for the first time this week.

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