Saudi Arabia to grant citizenship to highly skilled foreign professionals

The move comes in line with Vision 2030, which aims to create an attractive top-level business environment for professionals

  
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives virtual speech during the G20 leaders summit, held in Rome, Italy, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 30, 2021. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives virtual speech during the G20 leaders summit, held in Rome, Italy, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 30, 2021. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia approved the granting of citizenship to foreign nationals with specialized skills in a number of professions on Thursday.

The royal decree allows certain high-skilled professionals working in specialized areas within the legal, medical, scientific, cultural, sport and technical fields to obtain Saudi citizenship.

The move comes in line with Vision 2030, which aims to create an attractive top-level business environment for professionals.

In 2019, the Kingdom announced that it was planning to open the door to naturalization for distinguished scientific, innovators and cultural professionals who meet the required criteria.

It aimed to allow experts and investors to establish deeper roots in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia “aims to attract scientists, intellectuals and innovators from around the world to enable the Kingdom to become a diverse hub that the Arab world will be proud of,” Saudi Project, a government platform, said on Twitter at the time.

The new order focuses on professionals working in specific fields but also includes some expats and tribes based in the country.

It covers experts in forensic and medical science, technology, agriculture, nuclear and renewable energy, oil and gas, and artificial intelligence, in addition to specialists involved in arts, sports and culture.

The move to grant citizenship is also related to the diversification of the Kingdom’s economy, driving development and social reform plans by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It will enable professionals from around the world to make the Kingdom a hub for brilliant minds.

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