Saudi Premium Residency is a residence permit in Saudi Arabia that gives foreign nationals the right to live, work, and own businesses and property in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without requiring a sponsor. Premium Residency is aimed at wealthy foreigners who have strong business skills to come to Saudi Arabia as investors and entrepreneurs, as a way to grow the economy of the country. Holders of the Premium Residency are granted the right to reside in Saudi Arabia for an extended period, with options of one year (renewable) or an unlimited duration, depending on the plan they choose. This is a way to get long-term residency in Saudi Arabia, and it also gives sponsorship to family members. The program was announced in 2019 with the objective to attract foreign investment, entrepreneurs, and skilled professionals to Saudi Arabia. It received international attention and was seen as a significant step to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and bring in international talent.
In order to be eligible for Premium Residency, you have to meet a few requirements. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and have a valid passport. You have to submit proof of financial solvency and have a clear criminal record. When applying, you also have to submit a medical report that is no older than 6 months old that provides proof that you have no communicable diseases. If you are applying from within Saudi Arabia, you have to be residing in the Kingdom legally.
Family members of Premium Resident holders will also receive residency privileges. There is no limit to the amount of family members a Premium Resident can have within Saudi Arabia. Spouses and children under 21 years old will receive Premium Residence as dependents of primary Premium Residency holders. Their parents, male children that are students between the ages of 21 and 25, and female children that are unmarried and older than 21 years old will get the residency as relatives of the primary holder. Male children that are not students above the age of 21 and females that are either married or employed and over the age of 21 will get the residency as residents.
Saudi Premium Residency presents two distinct options, each tailored to meet specific residency needs. The options include a renewable one-year choice or permanent residency, providing flexibility and benefits aligned with diverse objectives and preferences.
The first type is a one-year, renewable Premium Residency. The cost is 100,000 Saudi Riyals (26,660 USD). This residency permit can be renewed annually at the same cost. If applicants opt for a Saudi Premium Residency lasting more than one year, they are eligible for a 2% fee reduction, provided that payment is made in advance to benefit from the cumulative reduction. The one-year renewable option is particularly suitable for investors or businessmen interested in pursuing fixed-term investment projects in the country. It is also a choice for those seeking to immerse themselves in day-to-day life and gain experience before considering permanent residency in the country.
The second option, Type Two, offers Premium Residency for an unlimited duration. The cost for this option is 800,000 Saudi Riyals (213,285 USD). This unlimited Premium Residency option provides individuals with permanent residency status in Saudi Arabia. This choice is particularly well-suited for individuals who seek the assurance of long-term residence without the need for annual renewals, making it an attractive option for those committed to establishing a lasting presence in the country.
There are many benefits when it comes to the Saudi Premium Residency. While it is a hefty investment, many entrepreneurs and investors find it worth it based on the advantages. The Saudi Premium Residency, which also has been nicknamed the “Saudi Green Card” or the “Saudi golden visa”, gives experienced expats coming to Saudi Arabia the opportunity to invest, operate businesses, sponsor themselves, and travel within Saudi Arabia freely.
The Saudi Premium Residency gives card holder’s immediate families the opportunity to reside in Saudi Arabia without paying the dependent fee. These family members have the right to reside, work, and invest in Saudi Arabia. They are also permitted to freely change employment/ employers while residing in Saudi Arabia. For family members that do not qualify for residency based on their relationship with the card holder, they are eligible to come to Saudi Arabia with a family visit visa.
With Saudi Premium Residency, you are eligible to own property including residential, commercial, and industrial real estate in all areas of Saudi Arabia excluding Mecca, Madina, and border regions. In the cases of Mecca and Madina, Premium Residency holders have the privilege of acquiring property through a 99-year lease agreement in these cities. Additionally, Premium Residency grants individuals the right to own and license vehicles and other modes of transportation within the country.
Saudi Premium Residency holders have the right to invest in the Saudi Capital Market. With Premium Residency, you can work in private organizations and you are eligible to switch your job or employer without needing to deal with any sponsorship procedures. You can also apply for a SAIGA license, which gives you the right to open a 100% foreign-owned onshore entity in the country of Saudi Arabia, and open your own business in the Kingdom.
You are permitted to leave and re-enter Saudi Arabia freely and as often as you please. Additionally, when re-entering Saudi Arabia you have the right to use the lanes designated for Saudi residents when in the Saudi airport.
With the “Saudi Green Card”, individuals can recruit foreign domestic workers and arrange their residency with a housemaid visa or a domestic worker visa. Another benefit is that in the event of the Saudi Premium Residency holder's passing, their spouse or any children under 21 years old will retain their “KSA green card” rights and benefits.
The process to actually apply for the Saudi Premium Residency is fairly simple. While there are a number of documents required for your application, you can submit it online.
On the Saudi Arabia Premium Residency portal, click on the “register now” option to create an account. Fill out the registration form with your personal information. You will need to include your full name, passport details, email address, and phone number. You will need to verify your email address and phone number.
Now that you have an account, login and click on the “Request Premium Residency” option. Here, you can fill out the application form. You will be asked various details such as personal information, information about your family, your education, your occupation, your finances, and other general information.
You will be required to upload supporting documents, such as scans of your passport, ID, birth certificate, marriage certificate, bank statement, employment contract, and various other relevant documents. After you have completed this, you will pay the application processing fee of 170 USD, which can be paid through the portal online.
Review and submit your application. Make sure that everything you have added to your application is correct and click the “Submit” button to finalize your application.
There are a number of documents you will be required to submit when applying for permanent residency in Saudi Arabia. You can submit documents in either English or Arabic. If your original documents are in a different language, you must have them officially translated and it is required to include the certified translation certificate with your application.
When applying you need to include:
While the Saudi Permanent Residency cost may seem quite steep, the investment and business opportunity often justify the high price. The limited duration residence permit, Saudi Arabia charges card holders 100,000 SAR annually. This is equivalent to around $26,660. For the permanent visa, Saudi Arabia charges card holders a one time fee of 800,000 SAR. This is equal to over $213,285. The application processing fee for each is 170 USD.
If you choose the option of annual premium residency, you will need to renew your Kingdom of Saudi Arabia "green card" annually. To renew, you must meet the criteria, which includes maintaining financial requirements and complying with the country's regulations. It is crucial to start the renewal process in advance of your permit's expiration date. Prepare necessary documents, including financial statements and proof of accommodation, before applying. The renewal process takes place online on your portal provided by Saudi authorities, and you will need to pay the annual fee of 100,000 SAR. If you meet the renewal requirements, approval is typically granted.
For the unlimited Premium Residency option, it offers permanent residency status in Saudi Arabia, which means it has an indefinite validity, and there is no need for annual renewals.
Living in Saudi Arabia offers a blend of rich history, cultural heritage, modern infrastructure, and a high standard of living. Mixing old and new, with the rich historical culture and modern amenities, Saudi Arabia provides a high quality of life. When looking for cultural immersion and modern comfort, this country is a great match. Here is a vivid picture of life in Saudi Arabia:
With a history that dates back to ancient civilizations, Saudi Arabia’s culture and history is reflected in daily life today. With historical sites such as Madain Saleh, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Diriyah area, which holds significance in the formation of the state. You will find pieces of the history in local architecture, art, and traditions, such as the traditional festival of Janadriyah National Heritage and Culture Festival.
In cities like Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, you will find skyscrapers, shopping malls, and world class amenities. Riyadh specifically is famous for its blend of modern architecture and traditional Saudi charm. As a Premium Residency holder, you have access to upscale residential areas, luxurious amenities, and gated communities that hold a high standard of living.
With a comprehensive healthcare system and modern hospitals and clinics, you have access to quality medical care. The country’s education system includes top universities and schools and an excellent education can be obtained for residents and their families.
There are cultural events hosted by Saudi Arabia each year, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and traditional performances. Highlights of the cultural calendar include the Riyadh Season and Jeddah Season. There are many recreational activities that families can enjoy, including desert camping, visiting the dunes, and many watersports along the coast of the Red Sea.
Cost of living in Saudi Arabia varies based on your personal spending style, but typically you will find that it offers good value. You can find affordable housing and everyday goods are reasonably priced. There are modern transportation options, including very good highways, a developing public transit system, and ride-sharing services. When it comes to local cuisine, Saudi Arabia offers a delightful array of options, including dishes like Kabsa, Mandi, and Shawarma, ensuring a satisfying culinary experience.
The Saudi Investor Visa and the Premium Residency Card in Saudi Arabia exhibit distinct differences. While the Investor Visa mandates ownership of a legal investment entity, the Premium Residency allows individuals to apply directly. Premium Residency holders are not tied to a sponsor in Saudi Arabia, while Investor Visa holders rely on sponsorship from their investment establishment. Investor Visa holders are labeled as "investors" on their residency cards and are restricted from working in private sector jobs, whereas Premium Residency holders enjoy the freedom to work in the private sector and switch jobs at will. Moreover, Premium Residency holders can own real estate in their own name, whereas Investor Visa holders can only own property through their investment establishment for specific purposes.
No, marrying a Saudi national does not automatically grant you Premium Residency. Obtaining Premium Residency requires meeting specific criteria and fulfilling the necessary financial obligations.
No, possessing any form of Saudi permanent residency, whether it's Premium Residency or another type of Permanent Residency, does not make you eligible for Saudi citizenship.
While the family member’s Premium Residency can be revoked if they violate Saudi law, the primary Premium Residency holder’s visa will not be canceled. The primary holder’s visa can be revoked if they commit a crime, if they are deported from Saudi Arabia, or if it is proven that they applied with faulty information.