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Saudi Arabia to introduce new residency scheme for expatriates

Saudi Arabia to introduce new residency scheme for expatriates
The new law aims at attracting more investors to the kingdom

Riyadh – Mubasher: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has approved the new the “Privileged Iqama” special residency system, or “Green Card” residency scheme, for expats that will enable some expats to live and work in the kingdom without the need of a local sponsor “kafeel”, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The law aims at attracting more investors to the kingdom, in addition to boosting the non-oil economy.

It also introduces several advantages for expats including rights to recruit workers, own property and means of transportation, as well as leaving and returning to the kingdom without the need for permission from a sponsor.

Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Saudi minister of commerce and investment, noted that the newly approved law will enhance the kingdom’s ability to diversify its economy.

He added that the law will allow non-Saudis to have their own investments in the GCC nation in both the real estate and industrial sectors.

Last week, the Saudi Shura Council passed the law to inject huge amounts of money into the national economy.

However, service centres will be opened within 90 days to process applications and determine the exact fees for the iqama, which will be finalised under executive regulations.

It is worth noting that there are more than 10 million expats working and living in the oil-rich kingdom under the sponsorship system.