Saudi Arabia, the most influential Muslim country in the Middle East, has decided to grant citizenship to skilled foreign professionals. On Thursday (November 12), King Salman bin Abdul Aziz approved a royal decree in this regard.
This will further help Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to achieve his ‘Vision-2030’ ambition to emerge from the oil-dependent economy.
The royal decree states that only foreigners with special skills in certain occupations will be considered eligible for Saudi citizenship.
According to a report in the country’s influential English daily Arab News, Saudi Arabia will grant citizenship only to foreigners with specialized skills in specialized professions such as law, medicine, science, culture, sports and technology. Its goal is to create an attractive top-level business environment for professionals in the country. However, Saudi Arabia has not yet said exactly when the declaration will take effect or the process of obtaining citizenship.
Earlier, in 2019, Saudi Arabia announced that it would relax citizenship laws for professionals in a number of professions. That year, the country’s Shura Council approved a draft law providing for the issuance of resident permits for foreigners. Two years later, the country has decided to grant citizenship to foreigners.
In a tweet, the Saudi government said that the goal of attracting scientists, intellectuals and inventors from around the world was to make Saudi Arabia a diversified center so that the Arab world would be proud.
While the new announcement by the Saudi Arabian government focuses on professionals working in certain fields, it also includes some expatriates and tribes from across the country. In addition to forensic and medical sciences, technology, agriculture, nuclear and renewable energy, oil and gas, the announcement also mentions those who work with artificial intelligence.