Permanent residence in Saudi Arabia: investment, work, education, citizenship by marriage

Residence permit
Saudi Arabia


Permanent residence in Saudi Arabia: investment, work, education, citizenship by marriage

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest state in the Arabian Peninsula. It is one of the five countries in the world with the richest natural resources. So it’s not surprising that the country attracts so many people to live in. It is quite difficult to obtain Saudi citizenship, though possible under certain conditions.

However, before permanent residence in this country, it is important to get acquainted with its features, difficulties, as well as customs, and traditions of local population. Temporary residence differs greatly from a long time stay in the country.

Country Features

It will be much easier for people from Muslim countries to get used to the customs of the country than for a European or an American. This is a country of strict religious principles and customs. It is forbidden to display any religion other than Islam. There are also serious gender bans, and women are very limited in their rights.

It should be kept in mind that in Saudi Arabia, a foreigner will have to give up their previous passport when obtaining their citizenship.

Besides these peculiarities, there is a lot of attraction for foreigners who want to move to the country:

·        a high standard of living and high salaries;

·        the lowest level of crime;

·        a high standard of medical care and health care;

·        cheap fuel;

·        low taxes;

·        loyal legislation and a stable political system;

·        a high standard of living for pensioners.

Investment immigration

If a resident develops a local business and invests in the economy of Saudi Arabia, he has the opportunity to emigrate to the country. The most developed sectors of the economy are oil and gas production, manufacturing, trade, finance, and transport and logistics. Required documents must be submitted in Arabic and certified by a notary. After submitting the documents, a visa is issued for three months, and then a residence permit is given. It is better to contact a consultant for legal support (hyperlink) in this matter.

The documents required:

an international passport;

·        a photo;

·        a birth certificate;

·        a questionnaire;

·        a copy of the certificate of investment;

·        health certificate;

·        certificate of religion;

·        certificate of residence.

Labor immigration

There is a special demand for professions related to the oil production and oil refining industries in the country. However, hiring foreigners is associated with certain difficulties for the employer, who must take on processing documents, and permits and pay the expenses of the future employee. Therefore, the most likely way for non-residents to obtain a residence permit and citizenship is their narrow professional profile in a certain area of the economy.

Study Visa

In Saudi Arabia, young people under the age of 25 can get a good and at the same time inexpensive education at prestigious universities. Teaching is in English, so there is no need to know Arabic. At the same time, students are paid scholarships and provided with free accommodation, medical care, food, and travel benefits. To study in Saudi Arabia, you need to obtain a student visa, which, however, does not give you the right to work. Though later thanks to good education, you can find a good job.

The documents required:

·        a passport with a validity period of at least two years;

·        a birth certificate;

·        a photo;

·        a document confirming that you have been enrolled in the university;

·        a medical certificate;

·        a certificate of criminal record;

·        a travel permit.

Citizenship by marriage

If a woman marries a citizen of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, she can get citizenship. But it is much more difficult to get citizenship for a foreign man, having married a local woman. If the marriage was registered after 2010, then the spouses will have to pay a large fine. Children born on the territory of the country in such a marriage have the full right to receive citizenship of the Kingdom. Though, it is important to meet the following requirements:

·        knowledge of the Arabic language;

·        no criminal record;

·        a residence permit at the time of adulthood;

·        an application for citizenship, issued within a year after the age of majority.

Contacts and phones

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia - Phone: 011 407 7777 - 920033334, website 

Saudi Arabia National e-Government Portal 

Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World

To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need health insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Saudi Arabia;

Legal advice on business issues in Saudi Arabia;

Travel insurance for foreigners in Saudi Arabia;

Medical insurance around the world.

More articles on the topic: 

How can foreigners start a business in Saudi Arabia?

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