Saudi to fast-track visas to boost business

New measures have been introduced in Saudi Arabia to simplify and speed up the visa application process for foreign companies and entrepreneurs.

In a statement on its website, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority said entrepreneurs and foreign companies looking to obtain visas will see a quicker and simpler process than has been the case previously. This will be based on a three-point process, and waiting times will be reduced to less than five days, the statement said.

Three point process

Dr Ayedh Al-Otaibi, director general of system development and investment procedures administration at SAGIA, said that companies will be asked to produce three letters of intent.

This three point process will now require a board resolution declaring intent of investment in Saudi Arabia; another resolution outlining the investment plan, including its economic impact; and a final document showing the investor’s financial ability to carry out such operations.

Investors will also have the option to extend their licenses for up to a 15-year period.

“We are adopting a series of measures and providing options for foreign investors in this sector to allow for a more sustainable investment,” said Dr Ayedh.

“This includes having the option of a three-year license to explore the market and gradually work toward building the organization capabilities.

After this period, the investor has the right to procure a renewable license after establishing a sustainable entity with a minimum number of personnel, fixed assets and equipment.”

The move is part of an attempt by the Saudi Arabian government to diversify the country’s economic interests, so that it isn’t as reliant on oil revenues, which have been hit by the crash in global oil prices over the past year.

 

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Gary Robinson
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