Residence Permit in Saudi Arabia

Updated on Monday 18th October 2021

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Foreign citizens who enter Saudi Arabia for various purposes need to obtain a visa if they want to stay here for short periods of time. Those who want to live here longer must obtain a residence permit in Saudi Arabia. Also known as the Saudi iqama, this document grants a foreign citizen various rights.

If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident in Saudi Arabia, our lawyers are at your disposal with several services that enable you to relocate here as soon as possible.

We are a team made of lawyers and company formation officers in Saudi Arabia who can provide various services to foreign citizens and investors.

Types of residence permits in Saudi Arabia

Foreign citizens interested in applying for the Saudi Arabia iqama must know that there are two types of residence permits they can enter the country:
  • the temporary residence permit;
  • the permanent residence permit.

It is not hard to obtain a Saudi residence permit, as most of the procedures can now be completed online no matter the country of residence of the applicant.

We remind you that if you want to open a company in Saudi Arabia, our local consultants are at your service. This is one of the safest ways of obtaining a Saudi iqama.

The temporary residence permit in Saudi Arabia

A foreign citizen who has obtained a job contract with a local company is entitled to obtain a residence permit in Saudi Arabia for the duration of the employment agreement. This means that the permit will be issued alongside the work visa on a temporary basis.

When obtaining a Saudi Arabia iqama based on employment, most of the procedure will be completed by the company hiring the foreign citizen.

If you have obtained an employment contract and need assistance in migrating to Saudi Arabia based on it, our specialists can help you.

The premium residence permit in Saudi Arabia

A foreign national who wants to become a permanent resident in Saudi Arabia has the recently enabled premium residence visa program under which specific conditions must be met, but it also comes with several benefits.

There are two options for those interested in the Saudi iqama under the premium residence visa scheme:
  • the first one is the renewable temporary residency;
  • the second one is permanent residency.

In order to apply for any of them, a foreign person must meet certain eligibility criteria. These are:
  1. the applicant must be at least 21 years old at the time he/she files for the visa;
  2. the person must have a valid passport, as well as a clean criminal record;
  3. another condition is for the applicant to be financially stable;
  4. proof of being healthy and fit is mandatory in order to be allowed into the program.

If you are interested in a Saudi residence permit under this program, our consultants can offer specific information about its requirements.

The main advantage of the program which is overseen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is that it was created to attract investors, entrepreneurs, and highly skilled migrants, therefore it is not meant for wealthy individuals. However, people who have lived in the KSA before can have better chances of obtaining a permanent residence permit in Saudi Arabia thanks to the fact that they are used to the culture and language here.

If you decide to apply for a Saudi Arabia iqama by opening a business, our agents who specialize in company formation can help with its incorporation.

Financial requirements for becoming a permanent resident in Saudi Arabia

As mentioned above, the Saudi iqama under the premium residency scheme implies meeting certain financial conditions. These are:
  • temporary renewable residency is available for approximately 27,000 USD or 100,000 SAR;
  • permanent residency is available for approximately 213,000 USD or 800,000 SAR.

You can rely on our local specialists if you are interested in this program.

Why apply for a Saudi Arabia iqama?

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East and one of the largest economies in the world. With an economy that relies mainly on the extraction of oil and gas, moving here implies optimum development conditions for both entrepreneurs and employees.

Here are the main statistics on Saudi Arabia’s population:
  • at the level of 2021, the country had a total population of 35.34 million inhabitants;
  • this means a 1.50% growth compared to the previous year when the population accounted for 34.81 million people;
  • in 2021, the country’s expat population is 13.49 million persons, more than one-third of its entire population.

If you are interested in applying for a residence permit in Saudi Arabia and need guidance, do not hesitate to contact our local consultants.