Saudi Premium Residency program
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched the Premium Residency System, also known as the “Saudi Green Card,” in 2019 to enhance the competitiveness of the Kingdom’s economy, encourage entrepreneurs, and attract investors wishing to conduct their business and commercial activities legally in Saudi Arabia. The program also aims to reduce the phenomenon of commercial concealment, which refers to non-Saudi individuals practicing commercial activities in Saudi Arabia without obtaining an investment license through the license granted to a Saudi citizen or a licensed foreign investor.
The Premium Residency Program in Saudi Arabia offers two options based on the cost to be paid by the applicant. The first option is to obtain residency in Saudi Arabia for a period of one year, which is renewable. The second, more expensive option, is to obtain permanent residency in Saudi Arabia. The holder of the premium residency card and their qualified family members obtain the right to reside in Saudi Arabia, invest or work at private establishments, and change jobs freely within the private sector. They are also entitled to a wide range of other benefits that are exclusive to holders of the premium residency card.
To apply for the premium residency visa, applicants must submit their applications to the Premium Residency Center, a government agency established for this purpose. While the center is affiliated with the Economic Affairs and Development Council in terms of organization, it operates with financial and administrative independence. It also collaborates with all government agencies and sectors in Saudi Arabia to streamline the process of obtaining the Premium Residency in Saudi Arabia.
Which Family Members Can Be Added in the Same Saudi Premium Residency Application?
Children below the age of 21
Saudi Arabia Overview
Saudi Premium Residency Benefits
The holder of the Premium Residency and their eligible family members are granted the right to reside, work, and invest in Saudi Arabia, with the ability to freely change employment within the private sector.
The right to own residential, commercial, and industrial real estate in all areas of the Kingdom except for Mecca, Madina, and border regions. In Mecca and Madina, the Premium Residency holder can obtain a usufruct right for a maximum of 99 years.
The right to own cars and other means of private transportation and license them within Saudi Arabia.
Issuing of visit visas for various family members, including parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and their children.
The right to invest in the Saudi Capital Market
Possibility to recruit foreign domestic workers and arrange their residency.
The freedom to leave and enter the Kingdom at their own discretion, and the right to use the lanes designated for Saudi citizens at Saudi airports.
In the event of the primary holder's death, the spouse and children under 21 will retain their premium residency rights and benefits.
Limited Duration Saudi Premium Residency
Foreigners have the option of obtaining a Saudi Premium Residency for a limited period of one year, at a cost of 100,000 Saudi riyals. This residency permit is renewable for an unlimited number of years, at the same cost of 100,000 Saudi riyals per year. For those who apply for a Saudi Premium Residency for more than one year, a 2% reduction is offered on the fees, but payment must be made in advance to benefit from the reduction on a cumulative basis.
The Annual Saudi Premium Residency is suitable for investors and businessmen who wish to undertake a fixed-term investment project in Saudi Arabia or experience the benefits of privileged residency and investment in the Kingdom before opting for the permanent residency in Saudi Arabia.
Please note that if the Annual Saudi Premium Residency is terminated during the year, whether after obtaining it or after its renewal, the applicant will not be entitled to a refund of the fees for the remaining period of the residency. This is because the Saudi Premium Residency fees are non-refundable.
Permanent Premium Residency in Saudi Arabia
For foreigners seeking permanent residency in Saudi Arabia, the Premium Residency Program offers a second option to obtain the Premium Residence for an unlimited period by paying a one-time fee of 800,000 Saudi riyals. This allows the applicant to enjoy the benefits of the Premium Residency indefinitely. The holder of the Saudi Arabia Premium Residency is permitted to add eligible family members (including a spouse and children under the age of 21, regardless of their number), who will also be granted Premium Residency status in Saudi Arabia without any additional fees. However, parents and children over the age of 21 may also obtain residency in Saudi Arabia under the sponsorship of the Premium Residency holder, but they will be designated as companions without enjoying the privileges of the Saudi Premium Residency.
Saudi Premium Residency Price
|Limited Duration Premium Residency|
100,000 SAR annually
|Unlimited Duration Premium Residency (Permanent)|
Application processing fee
Requirements for Saudi Premium Residency Application
Advantages of Residency in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia boasts one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, and is a member of the G20. It has abundant natural resources, including oil, natural gas, and minerals, making it the world’s largest oil exporter. In addition to oil, investment sectors in the Kingdom include religious tourism, as millions of people come to perform Hajj and Umrah each year, as well as communications, renewable energy, and more.
With its world-class infrastructure and facilities, Saudi Arabia offers promising opportunities for investors and businessmen. It is also a great place to live, with prestigious cities like Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina, and Dammam, and a diverse community of expatriates from various cultures and ethnicities. The warm weather, beautiful landscapes, and stunning beaches make it an even more enjoyable experience.
Required Documents for Saudi Premium Residency
To apply for the premium residence in Saudi Arabia, applicants must provide the following documents:
- Scanned copies of the applicant’s passport and the passports of all family members included in the application.
- Recent personal photos of all individuals included in the application.
- Proof of residence address, such as a utility bill, if applying from outside Saudi Arabia, or a residence card if applying from within the Kingdom.
- Bank statements for the last 12 months.
- Certified copies of the applicant’s academic qualifications.
- An approved medical report showing the health status of the applicant and their family members.
- Documents proving the applicant’s financial solvency, such as payroll, commercial register, or audited financial statements.
Countries that Allow Visa-Free Access for Saudi Residents
Foreign nationals holding Saudi residency, including Saudi Premium Residency, may enter the following countries (Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Oman, and Tunisia) without a prior visa, simply owing to their being residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Premium Residency Application Steps
After meeting the requirements for premium residency in Saudi Arabia, you can easily apply for a limited duration residency or permanent residency through the following steps:
Saudi Premium Residency FAQ
- While the Investor Visa requires that the applicant own a legal investment entity, any individual can apply for the Premium Residency.
- The holder of the Premium Residency is not tied to a sponsor in Saudi Arabia, while the holder of the Saudi Investor Visa is sponsored by the investment establishment.
- The profession of the Investor Visa holder is registered as "investor" on their residency card, and they are not entitled to work in private sector jobs, whereas the holder of the Premium Residency can work in the private sector and move between jobs freely.
- The holder of the Premium Residency is permitted to own real estate in their name, while the Investor Visa holder is only allowed to own property through their investment establishment and for specific purposes.
- The Iqama is always tied to an employer (sponsor), whereas the Premium Residency does not require sponsorship.
- Premium Residency permits provide freedom of entry and exit from Saudi Arabia, while Iqama holders may require their employer's approval to obtain a travel visa.
- Iqama is usually valid for one or two years only and are renewable, whereas the Premium Residency permit can be annual or permanent.
- Premium residency holders in Saudi Arabia have the right to own real estate in the country and obtain a usufruct right to real estate in Mecca and Madina. In contrast, Iqama holders require approval from the Ministry of Interior to own real estate and are not permitted to obtain a usufruct right to real estate in Mecca or Madina.
- Premium Residency holders are entitled to own various means of transportation, whereas Iqama holders can own a maximum of two cars.
- Premium Residency holders can move freely between private sector jobs, while Iqama holders typically require employer approval to switch jobs.
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