saudi new visa categories 2024

Saudi Arabia Introduces 5 New Visa Categories for Special Talents and Investors

Saudi Arabia has recently (10 January 2024) announced a groundbreaking update to its visa policies.

In a move aimed at attracting international investors and top talent, Saudi Arabia has introduced five new premium visa categories for 2024. These are-

  • Special Talent Residency
  • Gifted Residency
  • Investor Residency
  • Entrepreneur Residency
  • Real Estate Owner Residency

These “premium residency products” are designed to position Saudi Arabia as a global hub and accelerate the country’s economic transformation.

This article provides an in-depth analysis of the new Saudi visa policies, their impact on tourism and investment, and a step-by-step guide on how to apply for these visas.

Overview of the Current Visa System in Saudi Arabia

an image showing flying saudi arabian flag, Saudi Arabia premium visa categories

Before delving into the details of the new visa policies, it is essential to understand the existing visa system in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom currently offers various types of visas, including tourist visas, business visas, work visas, and student visas.

These visas have specific requirements and durations, catering to different purposes of travel.

However, the introduction of the new visa categories signifies a significant shift in Saudi Arabia’s approach to attracting foreign talent and investment.

The Need for Change – Why Saudi Arabia Introduced New Visa Categories

Saudi Arabia’s decision to revamp its visa policies stems from the country’s ambitious vision for the future.

Under the leadership of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Kingdom has embarked on a journey of economic diversification and social reform known as Saudi Vision 2030.

This comprehensive plan aims to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, enhance its standing in various industries, and create a more vibrant and inclusive society.

The introduction of the new visa categories aligns perfectly with these objectives and is expected to drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and foster knowledge transfers.

5 Types of New Visas in Saudi Arabia Explained


The new visa policies in Saudi Arabia bring five premium visa categories, each catering to a specific group of individuals. Let’s explore these visa categories in detail:

1. Special Talent Residency

The Special Talent Residency is designed for executives and professionals specializing in healthcare, science, and research. This visa aims to attract individuals with unique skills and experiences who can contribute to knowledge and technology transfers.

With offering unparalleled opportunities for settling in Saudi Arabia, this visa category encourages top talent to make a significant impact on the country’s growth and development.

2. Gifted Residency

The Gifted Residency visa seeks to integrate skilled professionals and talented individuals into Saudi Arabia’s vibrant cultural and sports sectors.

It aims to create a diverse community of artists, performers, athletes, and other creative minds who can contribute to the nation’s cultural fabric and promote Saudi Arabia as a hub for artistic and sporting excellence.

3. Investor Residency

The Investor Residency is tailored for individuals looking to capitalize on Saudi Arabia’s thriving business landscape. This visa category provides an opportunity for investors to generate high-impact returns from various sectors of the economy.

Saudi Arabia aims to attract foreign direct investment and stimulate entrepreneurship with the investor residency program.

4. Entrepreneur Residency

The Entrepreneur Residency visa is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs and owners of innovative projects. Saudi Arabia recognizes the importance of fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem and aims to create an environment conducive to the launch and development of new businesses.

This visa category provides entrepreneurs with access to resources, support networks, and a favorable business environment to turn their ideas into successful ventures.

5. Real Estate Owner Residency

The Real Estate Owner Residency caters to individuals who own real estate in Saudi Arabia or are looking to invest in the Kingdom’s promising real estate market.

This visa category offers an exceptional quality of life for real estate owners and allows them to benefit from the rapid development and comprehensive growth of the Saudi real estate sector.

Benefits and Opportunities for International Visitors and Businesses

The introduction of these new visa categories brings a host of benefits and opportunities for international visitors and businesses.

Holders of these visas can enjoy various advantages, including the ability to conduct business, own real estate, obtain work permits for themselves and their family members, and access the extensive support provided by the Premium Residency Centre in collaboration with government partners.

These benefits not only facilitate the ease of doing business but also create a favorable environment for international professionals to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s economic growth.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for the New Visas

Applying for the new visas in Saudi Arabia is a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the application process:

  1. Determine the most suitable visa category based on your qualifications and objectives.
  2. Gather all the necessary documentation, including educational certificates, proof of experience, business plans, or real estate ownership documents.
  3. Visit the official website of the Premium Residency Centre or your nearest relevant government entity to access the application form.
  4. Fill out the application form accurately and provide all the required information.
  5. Apply along with the supporting documents through the designated online portal or in person at your nearest embassy.
  6. Pay the applicable fees as specified by the authorities.
  7. Await the processing of your application and stay updated on its status through the online portal or communication channels provided.
  8. Once your application is approved, you will receive the visa, allowing you to enjoy the benefits and opportunities it offers.

How the New Visa Policies Will Impact Tourism and Investment in Saudi Arabia


The new visa policies are expected to have a transformative impact on tourism and investment in Saudi Arabia.

By attracting top talent, skilled professionals, and visionary entrepreneurs, the Kingdom aims to position itself as a global hub for innovation, creativity, and economic growth.

The influx of international visitors and businesses will not only contribute to the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy but also create employment opportunities for its citizens and foster knowledge transfers.

The country’s cultural and sports sectors are anticipated to experience significant growth, further enhancing Saudi Arabia’s global reputation.

It is important to note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on the visa category and individual circumstances. It is advisable to consult the official sources and seek professional advice to ensure a smooth application process.

Frequently Asked Questions About the New Saudi Visa Policies

Are the new visa policies applicable to all nationalities?

Ans: Yes, the new visa policies are open to individuals of all nationalities who meet the eligibility criteria for each visa category.

Can I apply for multiple visa categories simultaneously?

Ans: No, individuals can only apply for one visa category at a time. However, they may apply for a different category after the expiration of their current visa.

How long is the validity of the new visas?

Ans: The validity of each visa category may vary. It is recommended to check the specific details for each visa category on the official sources.

Can I bring my family members on these visas?

Ans: Yes, depending on the visa category, family members may be eligible to accompany the visa holder to Saudi Arabia. Find the specific details and requirements through the official sources.

Can I convert my existing visa to one of the new visa categories?

Ans: Please directly ask and consult official sources and relevant government authorities to understand the possibilities and procedures for converting existing visas to the new visa categories.

Future Prospects for Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Industry

Saudi Arabia’s introduction of new visa policies marks a pivotal moment in the country’s history.

With a vision to become a global hub for innovation and economic growth, the Kingdom is actively positioning itself to attract international visitors, businesses, and top talent.

The diverse range of visa categories offers unique opportunities for individuals to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s growth story. As the country continues to diversify its economy and invest in key sectors, the prospects for its tourism industry are bound to flourish.

With its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and ambitious development plans, Saudi Arabia is poised to become a must-visit destination for travelers and a thriving hub for businesses in the years to come.

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