Saudi green card proposal welcomed by expat community

Published:  8 Apr at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!

Saudi Arabia’s recently-announced plan to issue green card style permanent residency visas has been enthusiastically received by the expat community.

The proposal came to light during Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent interview with Bloomberg, much to the surprise of many expats already working in the kingdom. The visas are expected to be similar to the USA’s green card system, which allows workers from overseas to be hired for a fee. The existing sponsorship system will be abolished and replaced with permission to permanently reside, undertake commercial and work-related activities and own property, although holders of the new visa will have to pay zakat, insurance premiums and VAT.

Amir Qayyum, an Indian expat working as a business development executive, welcomed the plan, saying it is very good news for expats who’ve lived ling-term in Saudi Arabia. Businessman John Monterona said the new visa recognises the human right of residency, adding that he is happy to see it being extended to expats who deserve it. For senior systems analyst Saleh Ampaso Bucay, it’s no less than a dream come true, as he’s spent 23 years in the kingdom and his children were born there. As a Muslim, he added, it’s a great honour to be given a green card-style permit and it’s a great opportunity to work with Saudis to develop the country.

Many other long-term expats working in the kingdom are pleased and relieved that the government is easing the burden of the previous visa system and allowing permanent residency as well as business and property ownership. A large number of Western expats from the UK, USA and Europe will be affected positively by the turnaround, especially since the concern caused by the Saudization programme several years ago. At that point, many Western expats were fearing for their job security in the strictly Muslim country.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive