Expansion of the Premium Residency Program with five new eligibility categories

25 January 2024 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has expanded its Premium Residency Program (PRP) by adding five new eligibility categories. This move, strategically aimed at attracting global talents, investors, entrepreneurs, and property owners, is in alignment with the objectives outlined in KSA’s Vision 2030 to diversify its economy.

The Saudi Premium Residency, a residency permit in the Kingdom that grants foreign nationals the right to live, work, and own businesses and property in the country without requiring a sponsor, previously lacked specified categories for applicants. Historically, this was available to investors or individuals with a substantial application fee attached, under two options, either through a one-year renewable Premium Residency, or an unlimited duration Premium Residency. This was then extended to executives of companies who have established their regional headquarters in KSA, as part of the Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Program.

The Premium Residency has now been opened up to additional specified categories, including:

  • Special Talent residency: Health and scientific professionals, researchers, and executives (Premium Residency valid for 5 years).
  • Gifted residency: Outstanding individuals in the arts and creative fields, including individuals nominated or have acclaimed recognized awards from the ministries of culture and sports (Premium Residency valid for 5 years).
  • Investor residency: Those willing to invest a minimum of SAR 7 million in the Kingdom and generate at least 10 jobs within the first two years (Permanent Residency).
  • Entrepreneur residency: Split into two categories:
    1. Minimum investment of SAR 400,000 and a 20% stake in a startup (Premium Residency valid for 5 years).
    2. Minimum investment of SAR 15 million and creation of 10 jobs within the first year (Permanent Residency).
  • Real Estate owner residency: Property ownership of real estate worth a minimum of SAR 4 million. (Premium Residency duration is tied to real estate ownership).

Each category has its own eligibility criteria, and the Premium Residency validity is ultimately at the discretion of the authorities, but generally, the validity for each category has been indicated above. 


There are various benefits associated with the Premium Residency, as well as some specific to each category. Aside from a self-sponsored residency, the overall benefits include: 

  • Family Premium Residency, including parents.
  • Exemption from fees imposed on expatriates and their dependents.
  • Travel to/from KSA without a visa.
  • Ability to own real estate. 
  • Ability to transfer between entities with no associated fees.

In addition to the benefits listed above, Premium Residency holders would be exempt from the Nitaqat program and calculations.

Deloitte’s view

KSA’s expansion of its PRP aligns with Vision 2030, which aims to diversify its economy, boost its position as a global hub, and attract global talents, investors, entrepreneurs, and property owners.  

Employers may receive inquiries from employees about Premium Residency eligibility. Currently, we understand that some employees within organizations may be eligible specifically under the “Special Talent residency” category. The minimum monthly salary requirement under this category can vary from SAR 14,000 to SAR 80,000 depending on their designation/specialization. 

Since the expansion of the PRP was recently announced, we are awaiting further details as to the exact process and eligibility requirements and whether this is now live on the application portals. We will monitor and provide updates as more information becomes available.


Our immigration experts listed below would be happy to discuss the above matters in more detail, or support you through a further discussion on your immigration requirements.

Hadi Allawi 

Mohammed Haque

Syed Mansoor

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