Saudi Arabia does not have a comprehensive policy on migration either. But there is an Iqama regulation. It acts as a set of legislation on the status and rights of foreign migrants in the country. He or she must obtain Iqama, a residency card, and a work permit once a foreigner enters the country.
The Ministry of Interior or the Labour Department sees migrant flows into the country.
No worker can enter the country without the sponsorship of an eligible employer. Domestic workers need permission from Saudi households.
How to apply for asylum in Saudi Arabia? Does Saudi Arabia give asylum?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not a State Party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
It is also not a part of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. But, still, Saudi Arabia currently hosts 110 refugee families (588 persons). It also hosts 40 asylum seekers.
During the Iraq crisis in 1993, UNHCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Then around 35,000 Iraqi refugees were hosted in the Rafha camp by the KSA. This MoU was amended in 2010, as requested by KSA, with the modification in certain articles. The Saudi Arabia UNHCR office is given below.
Location: 3359 Ibn Al Anbari, Al Amal, Riyadh 12644 7790, Saudi Arabia
How many migrants are there in Saudi Arabia?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important migrants destination country. According to Mixedmigration.org, there are 9 million migrant workers in Saudi. Out of which 1.4 – 2 million are migrant domestic workers.
Saudi Arabia hosts unrecorded but large numbers of irregular migrants. It has recently become one of the most active countries having migration-restraint policies.
It has constructed a barrier along the Saudi-Yemeni. Also, patrols in search of illegal migrants, and mass deportations of migrants. Ethiopia is Saudi Arabia’s major source country for labor migration. Over the last 3 years, between 100000 and 200000 Ethiopian migrants move to Saudi Arabia.
In Saudi Arabia, 2,266 refugee applications were received in 2018 – according to UNHCR. Most were from Syria. There were a total of 108 decisions on the initial applications. All of them answered positively about 100 percent. In the first instance, 0 percent of asylum applications got rejected. The most successful applications have been for refugees from Syria and Yemen.
Do asylum seekers have access to health care?
UNHCR helps non-Saudi nationals and those in rural areas in the health care facility. All persons have the right to enjoy the highest physical and mental health standards attainably.
The Committee made clear that health facilities, goods, and services are “accessible to all. Especially those sections of the population most vulnerable or marginalized without discrimination.
Detention of asylum-seekers and refugees:
The UNHCR takes care that the detention of asylum seekers is avoidable. All the measures to avoid detention are looked at by UNHCR. Any other alternative gets preference, especially for certain categories of vulnerable people.
Asylum seekers should be entitled to small procedural safeguards if detained. The UNHCR’s have guidelines applicable criteria related to the detention of asylum-seekers.
The conditions for detention are if migrants don’t follow the legal formalities. Or, they may not be in a position to get the necessary documentation before their flight.
How to get permanent residency in Saudi Arabia?
First, get your permanent visa in Saudi Arabia.
Take your company’s permanent family visa form, and fill it out in Arabic. Get it from the city of your employer’s company, and the chamber of commerce attests. If you can’t find this form, collect it from the office at Amsterdam.
For residency, you have to apply for a Premium Residency Card (PRC) online.
There are two types of residency offered in Saudi Arabia:
- Permanent residency
- Temporary renewable residency
A permanent residency has a fee of SAR 800,000 ($213,000).
The temporary renewable residency has SAR 100,000 ($27,000) annual fee. The program requires applicants to be at least 21 years of age. The applicant should have a valid passport to prove financial stability. The residency seekers should have a clean criminal record. Also, there should be no evidence of medical reports proving healthy.
What is the Saudi Premium Residency Card(PRC) Or Green Card?
The Saudi Green Card is known as the Premium Residency. In Saudi Arabia, PRC is a residence permit. It gives expatriates the right to live, work, and own businesses and property. They can do all these things in the Kingdom without a sponsor.
The PRC holders can travel within and out of the Kingdom unrestricted. They also get a separate visa. It sponsors residence and visitor visas for their families.
PRC holders can recruit domestic workers from abroad. They have all the right to own real estate and private means of transportation. The PRC holder can work in private sector companies and can change jobs.
But within the GCC, they aren’t subject to free movement. And work in positions restricted to Saudi nationals is forbidden.
The ex-pat can remain in the country for up to 60 days if the PRC is canceling or withdrawn. You can apply for an extension at the Premium Residency Center. If it gets approved, you can stay up to 80 days.
This residency program aims to attract long-term foreign investment in the Kingdom.
In response to fluctuating oil prices, it helps to diversify its economy. The Kingdom aims to increase domestic expenditure by attracting skilled wealthy ex-pats.
Benefits of the Saudi Green Card?
A Premium Residency Card (PRC) grants many rights, including:
- Residence with one’s family in Saudi Arabia
- Visits to Saudi Arabia to visit family members
- Power to hire and invite foreign domestic workers
- Possibility to own immovable property and private means of transport (conditions apply)
- Departure and return to Saudi Arabia where necessary
- Working in private companies and changing jobs.
Who can apply for a Green Card?
The Saudi Permanent Residency scheme is for those who want to live in Saudi Arabia and invest.
It gives them a chance to do so without having their application backed by a Saudi investor. It has high fees so that only wealthy people can afford it.
The scheme will mostly only benefit rich foreigners. It applies to those who have been living on temporary visas in Saudi Arabia for some time.
How to Apply Online for the Saudi Green Card?
The Green Card process is very fast, quick, and straightforward. The Premium Residency Center processes applications for the new Saudi Green Card.
It is associated with the Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs. The Green Card process is online. The applicants have to log into the dedicated electronic SAPRC platform. They will need to give all the necessary information and mandatory documentation uploaded.