Saudi Arabia has opened applications for a permanent residency programme designed to attract foreign investment to the Kingdom and it will cost $213,000 (SAR 800,000).
The Premium Residency Center began receiving applications for the new residency system through the electronic platform SAPRC (saprc.gov.sa) last Sunday.
The residency scheme offers two types of residencies, a permanent one for 800,000 Saudi riyals ($213,321.96) and a one year but renewable residency for 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,665.24).
According to the website for applications, the premium residencies will allow foreigners to buy the property and do business without the need for a Saudi sponsor, switch jobs as well as exit the Kingdom easily and sponsor visas for family members.
The permanent residency programme requires applicants to be at least 21 years old, prove financial solvency as well as have a clean criminal record and bill of health on top of the SAR 800,000 application fee.
Currently over 10 million expats work and live in Saudi Arabia under a system that requires them to be sponsored by a Saudi employer and be issued an exit and re-entry visa whenever they want to leave the country.
The crown prince stressed in an interview with Al Arabia TV that the new system will not undermine citizens' rights, rather it will serve their interests.
He said that the green card scheme will be an important source of revenues to boost the Saudi economy and will contribute to the creation of jobs for the public.
The program is projected to generate about $10bn in annual revenue by 2020.