Saudi government’s recently approved new residency card ‘Special Privilege Iqama’ will cost $213,333 (SAR 800,000) one-time fee for the permanent residency and $26,666 (SAR 100,000) annual fee for the yearly renewable residency, Saudi Gazette reported yesterday citing unnamed ‘well-informed sources.’
The Special Privilege Iqama law that was approved by the Saudi cabinet on Tuesday will allow the holders to work in Saudi Arabia without having a sponsor (commonly known as kafeel), own real estate, ability to travel out of Saudi without an exit re-entry visa, hire domestic workers and obtain visit visa for their relatives.
Arab News, without specifying a number, had also reported that the amounts being discussed by the government for the new residency system are on the high side which could make this residency permit “unaffordable for those on lower or even middle incomes.”
The report by Saudi Gazette also noted that a Special Privilege Iqama Center is being established to regulate and manage everything related to the new residency system. The center will prepare Executive Regulations of the law within 90 days and announce them to start receiving the applications.