Riyadh, January 14 – Saudi Arabia has launched five new residence permits aimed at attracting greater foreign investment and talent to the kingdom.
The new resident packages, divided into skilled, investor, entrepreneur and real estate categories, offer incentives like tax-free living, property ownership and premium residency for family members.
To qualify for the skilled residence permit, applicants must meet salary and professional criteria set by designated ministries. This includes scientists, doctors earning over 35,000 Riyals per month and researchers making 14,000 Riyals. Executive-level professionals can also apply.
Investors seeking permanent residency must invest 7 million Riyals in Saudi Arabia and create at least 10 jobs in the first few years.
The entrepreneur permit has two streams – one requires a minimum 30-month stay and 20% ownership of a local firm with 400,000 Riyals investment. The other requires 1.5 million Riyals investment and creating 10 jobs in the first year.
For real estate residency, foreigners need to own property worth at least 4 million Riyals free of mortgages.
The new residency schemes represent a major shift in Saudi policy as the kingdom looks to diversify its economy beyond oil under its Vision 2030 program. Attracting foreign expertise and capital is seen as vital to developing new industries and jobs for Saudis.
Analysts say the competitive benefits like tax exemptions and property ownership rights could make Saudi Arabia more appealing to foreign workers and investors relative to places like Dubai.