Saudi expands Premium Residency Permit (PRP) programme

The Saudi government expanded its Premium Residency Permit (PRP) programme on 11 January with the addition of five new eligibility categories that are designed to attract global talents, investors, entrepreneurs and property owners. The move is in alignment with the economic diversification objectives outlined in the Vision 2030 blueprint.

The Saudi PRP, first launched in 2019, grants foreign nationals the right to live, work and own businesses and property in the country without requiring a sponsor. Previously it was only available to individuals who made a non-refundable financial contribution of at least SAR100,000 per year (c. USD 27,000) for a one-year (renewable) residency permit or at least SAR800,000 as a single payment for permanent residency.

The PRP was also extended to executives of companies that have established a regional headquarters in Saudi under the Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Programme.

Saudi Arabia has now added five new categories under its long-term Premium Residency Permit (PRP) scheme, offering self-sponsored long-term residency permits to a wider range of foreign nationals, as follows:

  • Special Talent Residency (five-year duration, renewable once) – applies to health and scientific professionals, researchers and executives subject to minimum salary thresholds.
  • Gifted Residency (five-year duration, renewable once) – applies to gifted individuals in culture, the arts or sport who have an outstanding record of local, regional or international achievements.
  • Investor Residency (permanent residency) – applies to individuals seeking to invest at least SAR7 million into the Saudi Arabian economy and creating at least 10 new jobs within the first two years.
  • Entrepreneur Residency – applies to individuals seeking to establish a start-up company and to develop specific industries in Saudi Arabia under two investment options:
    • Minimum investment of SAR400,000 and a 20% stake in a start-up (five-year duration).
    • Minimum investment of SAR15 million and creation of 10 jobs within the first year (permanent residency).
  • Real Estate Owner Residency (duration tied to real estate ownership): applies to individuals who own, or have a right to profit from, a residential real estate property in Saudi Arabia worth at least SAR4 million.

For all categories, applicants must have sufficient financial resources, no criminal record, be medically fit and have valid medical insurance. There are a number of benefits associated with the Premium Residency status in Saudi, including:

  • Family Premium Residency, including parents, spouses, and children under 25.
  • Exemption from fees imposed on expatriates and their dependents.
  • Visa-free travel to and from Saudi Arabia.
  • Ability to own real estate.
  • Ability to conduct business under the Investment Law.
  • Ability to work in the private sector and move between establishments.
  • Exempt from the Nitaqat national hiring regime.

Foreign nationals can apply for a PRP through a new electronic platform launched by the Saudi Premium Residency Centre (SPRC). Further details of process and eligibility requirements are expected. Sovereign PPG’s immigration team will monitor and provide updates and will be able to support individuals with their immigration requirements.

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