Saudi Arabia has introduced 5 new categories to its Premium Residency Program to attract global talent and diversify the economy.
The 5 new categories are
- Special Talent
- Real Estate Owner
With an application fee of 4,000 Saudi Riyals ($1,066) per category, the program offers exclusive benefits, including exemption from expat renewal fees and business ownership rights.
The initiative highlights Saudi Arabia’s commitment to becoming a prime destination for talent, creating jobs, and increasing investment in the Kingdom.
A Closer Look at the Premium Residency Program
Launched in 2019, the Premium Residency Program is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy and reshape its socio-economic landscape. The program allows eligible foreign nationals to reside in the Kingdom and enjoy various benefits.
These include exemption from specific fees, visa-free international travel, the right to own real estate, and the ability to run a business without needing a local sponsor.
Introducing the New Premium Residency Categories
Mohammad Al-Sultan, CEO of the Premium Residency Center, says: “With the introduction of these five new premium residency products, we are opening doors to a world of opportunities for professionals and investors. We aim to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s effort as a prime destination for talents and investments, contributing significantly to our vision of a diversified, knowledge-based economy.”
Special Talent Residency
The Special Talent Residency targets professionals specializing in healthcare, science, and research. To qualify, applicants must hold an executive-level employment contract and earn a minimum monthly salary of SAR80,000($21,335) for executives or SAR35,000($9,334) for healthcare or science professionals.
The Gifted Residency category is designed for skilled professionals and talented individuals who can contribute to Saudi Arabia’s cultural and sports sectors. Applicants must either be nominated or receive an approved award from the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The Investor Residency category is tailored for individuals willing to invest a minimum of SAR 7 million($1.86 million) and create at least 10 jobs within the first two years. Successful applicants will receive direct permanent residency.
The Entrepreneur Residency category caters to aspiring entrepreneurs and innovative project owners.
- In the First Category, it is required to secure a minimum investment of 400,000 SAR($106,661) from an entity accredited by the center, with the applicant holding a stake of at least 20% in the startup.
- In the Second Category, the prerequisite is to acquire a 15 million SAR investment round from a center-accredited entity, with the applicant maintaining a minimum 20% ownership in the startup.
In both categories, one must possess an entrepreneur license issued by the Ministry of Education and furnish an endorsement letter from the investment entity.
Real Estate Ownership Residency
The Real Estate Owner Residency is for individuals who own real estate assets worth a minimum of SAR4 million($1.06 million). The property must be residential, developed, and free of existing and future mortgages.
Existing Premium Residency
There are Limited Duration and Unlimited Duration residency categories for existing premium residency holders, each with its own eligibility criteria and requirements.
Limited Duration Residency
The Limited Duration Residency is open to all individuals who can provide proof of financial stability and meet other specific eligibility criteria, including a Valid Passport, passing the medical examination, and legal residency in Saudi Arabia.
The duration is one year, with an annual fee of SAR 100,000($26,665).
Unlimited Duration Residency
The Unlimited Duration Residency is also open to all individuals who can provide proof of financial stability and meet other specific eligibility criteria, the same as for the limited duration residency, with a one-time fee of only SAR 800,000($21,3320).
Premium Residency Benefits
The Premium Residency initiative promises several key advantages to successful applicants. These include:
- Family Residency: The Premium Residency can be extended to family members, strengthening the initiative’s appeal to global talent.
- Fee Exemption: Expatriates and their dependents are exempted from specific fees.
- Business Operations: The initiative allows for conducting business in Saudi Arabia.
- Travel: Premium Residency holders can travel to and from Saudi Arabia without a visa.
- Real Estate Ownership: The initiative allows real estate ownership in Saudi Arabia.
- Fee-free Transfers: Holders can transfer between entities without incurring fees.
- Hosting Relatives: The initiative allows hosting and inviting relatives to the country.
The Importance of the Premium Residency Program
The Premium Residency Program is more than just a visa initiative. It represents a commitment to shaping Saudi Arabia’s future by attracting special talents, entrepreneurs, and investors. By doing so, the program boosts the Saudi economy and enriches its cultural and scientific landscape.
The program also offers substantial benefits to permit holders. These include obtaining premium residency status for their family members, running businesses, making free money transfers, and hosting and inviting relatives.
Holders must adhere to the stipulated terms and conditions, including holding a valid passport, having a recent medical certificate, and possessing legal residency in Saudi Arabia (for those applying within the country).
The Road Ahead
Saudi Arabia’s introduction of the new Premium Residency categories is a forward-looking strategy that positions the Kingdom as a global hub for talent and investment.
Saudi Arabia aims to accelerate economic growth, foster innovation, and enrich its cultural and scientific landscape by offering tailored pathways for professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors.
The revamped Premium Residency Program invites the world to join Saudi Arabia in its journey of transformation and growth.
As the Kingdom continues diversifying its economy and attracting global talent, these new residency products are poised to play a pivotal role in realizing the ambitious goals outlined in Vision 2030.