Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council on Wednesday approved a special green card-style residency permit for entrepreneurs, investors and skilled expatriates.
The new Green Card-style “Privileged Iqama” (residency permit) law will see foreigners benefit from the new residency scheme which will not require a Saudi sponsor or employer.
According to the law, residency permits will be offered to highly skilled expatriates who will benefit from added advantages including the ability to recruit workers, own property and transport, and the freedom of entering and exiting the Kingdom without a sponsor.
The permits will also include family status so that holders can issue visit visas to relatives.
There will be two types of systems under the permit, one which can be used for an unlimited period while the other is valid on a yearly basis and subject to renewal.
Requirements for foreigners to obtain a new Privileged Iqama permit include having a valid passport, a good credit report, a health report, and a clean criminal record.
The new law was approved by 76 members of the Shoura Council, while 55 opposed it.