No sponsor? No problem: Saudi Shoura Council approves new ‘green card’ residency

Saudi Arabia's Shoura Council on Wednesday approved a new “Privileged Iqama” system for expatriate residents. (shutterstock/File photo)
Updated 10 May 2019
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No sponsor? No problem: Saudi Shoura Council approves new ‘green card’ residency

  • The new Privileged Iqama system will offer a raft of benefits to highly skilled expatriates and owners of capital funds

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council on Wednesday approved plans to attract entrepreneurs and investors from overseas with a “green card”-style residency scheme.

The authorized draft of the new Privileged Iqama system will offer a raft of benefits to highly skilled expatriates and owners of capital funds. Unlike the existing iqama system, such residents would not require a Saudi sponsor or employer.

The benefits on offer include the ability to recruit of workers; ownership of property and transport; employment in the private sector, commerce and industry; freedom of movement and exit from the Kingdom and return; and the use of designated queues at airports.

Under the system, which requires a guarantee of specific fees, there are two categories: An extended iqama and a temporary one.

Eligible expatriates must have a valid passport with a credit report, a health report and no criminal record.

Last month, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced the launch of its Gold Card extended residence program.

The ministry called on consultants and agencies to analyze the possibility of providing incentives to beneficiaries.

The Gold Card program is part of the Quality of Life Program 2020, which was launched in 2018 by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

The aim of the Gold Card program is to promote expatriates’ engagement with Saudi culture, and to increase acceptance of other cultures among Saudis.

 


Saudi Arabia’s new labor initiatives to promote growth, nationalization

Ahmed Al-Rajhi, minister of labor and social development. (SPA)
Updated 17 min 55 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s new labor initiatives to promote growth, nationalization

  • The ministry has launched 71 services aimed at individuals and private establishments

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development is working on strategic partnership and integration with the business sector to stimulate growth and expand labor nationalization.
Ahmed Al-Rajhi, minister of labor and social development, announced the initiative during his meeting with members of Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
The ministry has launched 71 services aimed at individuals and private establishments. Many of these services are available through the “Qiwa” portal, and all of the services will be available via the portal before the end of the year.
Al-Rajhi said that the ministry would empower and support all those in the development field and specialized societies, and sought to double the number of specialized societies in the coming years based on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan. The minister spoke about the launch of 45 development programs to enhance social initiatives and the growth of the nonprofit sector to help citizens rehabilitate their professional capacities.
Hisham bin Mohammed Kaaki, chairman of the board of directors at MCCI, said that the number of training courses provided last year to help prepare citizens for the labor market surpassed 65 courses, benefiting 5,815 citizens.