Saudi Green Card System for Expatriates “very soon”

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has stated in an interview with Bloomberg that government is seriously considering launching the Saudi Green Card system for Expatriates which will be similar to the US Green Card System. He further added that this new Saudi Green Card system will replace the current “Kafala System, Sponsorship System”. Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia will be required to pay Zakat and Value Added Tax to the government apart from insurance premiums. They will be allowed to own business and residential properties as well.[irp]

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia welcomed the plan. The Saudi Green Card System will be expected to generate $10 billion a year i.e. SR 37.5 billion for Saudi Economy. According to Al-Hayat newspaper, the Green Card system will cost expatriates SR 14,200 per annum. We are still not sure if it will be the cost for the full family or just for the head of the family. But we believe that this fee will be taken in replacement of Iqama fee which will be around SR 10,200 by July 2020. Someone stated that the expatriates living in Saudi Arabia for a long time will be benefited from this Saudi Green Card System.

For some expatriates who have lived in Saudi Arabia almost their full life, it is a dream which will come true soon. My uncle, who has been living in Saudi Arabia from last 40 years, considers Saudi Arabia his first home. He does not want to go back to his home country as his loyalty, love, and affection relates to this land. Really, credit needs to be given to King Salman and young leadership of Saudi Arabia Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

While talking about the recent fall down of oil prices, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told media how Saudi Arabia is reducing its reliance on oil related products. “We did a quick fix in 2015 which increased our non-oil revenue by 35 per cent,” he said. “This year, we are trying to target over $25 billion. I believe we will succeed in achieving more than $10 billion in non-oil revenue in 2016.” He further added that the Saudi Green Card System for Expats will be a further source of revenue for the Kingdom.

I don’t think expatriates living in Saudi Arabia would mind paying taxes from their hard earned salaries to stay here in Saudi Arabia. I know hundreds of people who want to invest in Saudi Arabia, they have a good amount of capital but they don’t invest as it is illegal. Going for SAGIA license to start a business is not very easy.[irp]

US Green Card is a lawful permanent residency which allows a person to live and work there. The United States Permanent Resident Card is informally called a green card because “it was green from 1946 until 1964 and on May 11, 2010, it was reverted to the color green.”

Source: Arab News


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