Seventy-three foreigners have been granted “premium” residency to Saudi Arabia. The new residency programme aims to attract overseas investment by selecting individuals to buy property and do business in the Kingdom without a Saudi sponsor.
Through the programme, the Kingdom received thousands of applications, with applicants choosing between the permanent residency, costing SAR 800,000 ($213,000), or the one-year renewable permit, costing SAR 100,000 ($26,625). The first batch of recipients to receive the residency come from 19 countries and include investors, financiers and doctors. The residency also gives holders benefits such as the right to switch jobs, exit the Kingdom freely and sponsor visas for their families.
The programme was initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to continue to diversify the Kingdom’s economy. It was estimated the programme would generate about $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020.