Foreign nationals can now work and live in Saudi Arabia without a sponsor or employer.
Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council approved a newly Iqama system or ‘green card’ (residency), where expats are to enjoy a highly privileged residency permit.
The new system will now allow highly-skilled expats and investors to live in the country without the need for sponsorship and employer.
Added benefits to the bearer of the new Iqama are:
- Capability to recruit workers
- Reside permanently in his own property
- Invest in the country
- Private sector’s employment
- Freedom to exit and return in the country
- Separate lane at airports
Who are eligible for the new Iqama?
In order to be eligible applicants must be a Professional or highly skilled individual and a company owner or investor.
Applicants must also be over 21 years of age, have a valid passport, zero criminal records, and can provide health record within 6 months of the application.
The eligibility for the Iqama ‘Green card’ will be decided by several government bodies lead by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment
Moreover, applicants are given two categories, a temporary iqama which is renewable and an extended iqama. Applicants must also pay its specified fees should his application be approved.
Cancellation of Iqama privileges
Note that the privileged Iqama can be canceled anytime if the holder failed to follow his responsibilities as a holder, canceled his residency, or passed away.
Several reasons for cancellation are:
- False information in the application
- Commit a crime that is punishable by 60 days of imprisonment
- Deportation from the country
Is it transferable?
The privilege Iqama is not transferrable to any members of the family. But, if a family member is eligible to be a holder of Privilege Iqama, he may apply anytime.
Source: Arab News