Saudi Arabia offers new visa to attract foreign investors

Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a new "visiting investor" visa, aiming to simplify the process for international investors and companies seeking to expand their investments within the kingdom. This move reflects a growing trend among Arab countries to enhance their visa programs or introduce new ones, indicating a regional competition to attract foreign capital and talent.

Investor VISA

The Ministry of Investment expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support in launching the new business visit visa service. The visa aims to facilitate the journey of investors who wish to explore the investment environment and opportunities in Saudi Arabia. The announcement was made on June 22 through a tweet by Khalid Al-Falih, the Minister of Investment.

While Saudi Arabia currently does not offer a long-term residency-by-investment visa, some of its neighboring countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are considering implementing such schemes. Kuwait is contemplating a long-term investor visa, and Bahrain recently introduced a “golden license” for foreign investors. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) already launched its popular golden visa in 2018, which has been successful in attracting foreign capital and talent.

The new Saudi visiting investor visa provides a dedicated entry route for investors visiting the country. One notable difference from the traditional Saudi Business Visa program is that it eliminates the requirement for a sponsor, making it easier for potential investors to explore business opportunities in the kingdom. According to Fragomen, a global immigration law firm, foreign nationals from approximately 60 countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are now eligible to apply for this new investor visa.

The program comes in two variations: a single-entry valid for 90 days or a multiple-entry ranging from six months to five years, depending on nationality and bilateral agreements.

However, details regarding the Saudi visa’s conditions, eligibility criteria, and other particulars have yet to be available online.

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