Saudi Arabia announces criteria for five new premium residence categories

Saudi Arabia has announced the introduction of five new categories of premium residences aimed at attracting exceptional talent, including executives, talents, investors, entrepreneurs and owners.

Premium residence allows the holder to grant residence to family members, carry out commercial activities and exempts them and their dependents from expatriation tax. It also includes visa-free travel to and from the Kingdom, property ownership, easy transitions between establishments without fees, and the ability to host and invite family members.

About five years ago, Saudi Arabia introduced the premium residency system with only two categories: a permanent residency costing a total of SR800,000 ($213,000) and a one-year, renewable one costing SR100,000 ($26,000).

However, the center has now announced five new categories, bringing the total to seven: special talent, gifted, investor, entrepreneur and property owner, in addition to the previous two categories (limited duration and unlimited duration).

This introduction of new categories aligns with the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to attract the talents needed to accelerate economic growth. The Kingdom has seen a steady increase in foreign direct investment over the past six years, rising from Rp27 billion in 2017 to Rp122 billion last year. This program is expected to further boost the goal of increasing the contribution of foreign direct investment to GDP from 3.8% to 5.7%.

For the special talent residency there are two itineraries: one for healthcare and scientific talents and researchers, and another for executives, each with specific salary and experience requirements.

For the gifted residence, candidates must be nominated for or win specific exceptional awards, or meet the minimum eligibility criteria established by the Ministries of Sports or Culture, along with financial solvency requirements.

For investor residency, the criteria include the issuance of investment licenses, submission of a business registration and founding agreement, and a minimum investment of SR7 million in economic activities in the Kingdom.

The entrepreneur residency is divided into two categories, each with its own investment and property requirements, and recommendations from the investing entity.

Real estate owner residency requires ownership or benefit of real estate assets worth at least SR4 million in Saudi Arabia, along with other criteria.

Limited duration residency requires minimum financial solvency with an annual fee of SR 100,000, while unlimited duration residency requires a one-time payment of SR 800,000.

General application requirements for all categories include a valid passport, passing a medical examination, regular residency (for residents of the Kingdom) and a one-time fee of SR 4,000, except for limited-term and unlimited-term residencies.

News source: The Saudi Gazette

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