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Saudi Arabia moving towards special residence system that cancels sponsorship

21 May, 2019

The "Special Residence" system offers privileges such as the freedom to move in and out of Saudi Arabia without the need of sponsor’s consensus, granted residence for family members, receiving relatives’ visits, the introduction of employment as well as property’s ownership.

The project is divided into two categories: permanent residence and temporary residence with a fixed fee, which gives the owner a number of advantages, including doing business according to specific regulations. A special center is established by the authorities to deal with this type of residences.


The special residency initiative is not the result of the moment; it began its initial features in the press statements of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, within “the vision 2030” back in 2016.

The Saudi Crown Prince said that the "Green Card" project, which will be implemented during the next five years, is a kind of tributary of investments that enables Arabs and Muslims to live long in the Kingdom.

A number of economists welcomed the distinctive residency system as a solution to fight commercial concealment in the Kingdom as it will attract investment, enhance public revenues and address the economic problems such as effective concealment and smuggling of funds outside the country.

For example, remittances by non-Saudis abroad in 2018 amounted to about 136 billion riyals. The Kingdom ranks second in the world in remittances after the United States. These remittances have nothing to do with wages and salaries, but with hidden investments.

The systematic economic transformation in the Kingdom and the development of major development projects will generate many huge opportunities and will also require the skills, minds, and funds that the owners feel of belonging to the country and contribute to building and strengthening the economy.

Investors used to register their companies or businesses with the names of other citizens who felt insecure and had to turn their money back abroad.

Another benefit of the special residence project is attracting wealthy Muslims who wish to live in Mecca or Medina, by granting them full rights in ownership and movement.


Ref: Alarabia