Saudi Arabia’s Investor Visa
Officially named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab nation in Western Asia and the second largest state in the Arab world. Bordered by Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia is uniquely situated in the heart of the second largest oil reserves in the world, and the sixth largest natural gas reserves in the world.
In part due to this convenient location, Saudi Arabia has the 19th highest GDP in the world and is the world’s largest exporter of oil – making the country one of the most internationally influential and powerful countries around the globe. In addition to oil and natural gas, Saudi Arabia’s other economic sectors include gold and telecommunications.
For these reasons, Saudi Arabia offers unique investment opportunities to foreign nationals who are particularly interested in diversifying their portfolios to include gas and oil. To do so, foreign nationals can temporarily relocate to Saudi Arabia via its investment visa.
Requirements for the Investor Visa
In order to obtain the Saudi Arabian investor visa, the foreign national must have a Saudi Arabian citizen sponsor the national. The sponsor must apply for visa authorization permission through the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If this request is granted, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send the authorization to the consulate in the foreign national’s home country and the sponsor can provide the foreign national with a copy of the authorization.
Once the investor has an authorized sponsor, the investor can submit the visa application. The requirements of the visa application are a valid passport, copy of confirmed travel reservations into and out of Saudi Arabia, a medical report confirming the completion of all necessary vaccinations, and a statement of religion. Moreover, if the investor is the owner of a company, the investor must provide proof of the ownership, a completed resume, and a signed work contract.
Once the application is approved, the investor will receive the visa from the Saudi Arabian embassy in the home country. Importantly, an investor visa does not give the individual the right to work in the country. If the investor wants to work, the investor must qualify and apply for a separate employment visa.
Additional Information About Coming to Saudi Arabia
It is important to emphasize that Saudi Arabia is governed by strict Islamic laws that require women to observe a certain level of modesty and everyone to observe laws and regulations that respect the country’s religious values and traditions. For example, Saudi Arabia is very committed to enforcing its drug trafficking laws and violators of these laws receive severe punishments, including the death penalty.
Moreover, it is currently almost impossible to become a Saudi Arabian citizen unless the foreign national marries a Saudi Arabian national.
These laws, codes of conduct, and standards of dress may be very different than that which is allowed in the investor’s home country, so it is very important for investors to consult attorneys who can advise them on how to observe the country’s laws.