Saudi Arabia has been the hub for all things business for the longest time. Its environment clearly nurtures the growth of business and professions; what with it being the home of “black gold” and all. As such, it attracts millions of foreigners from the world over looking to grow their businesses.
However, it appears that the one thing that really seems to be the wedge between many of these business people is the constant requirement of renewing their exit re- entry visa; especially since most of their businesses demand their exit and re- entry to Saudi Arabia.
The charges are so high each time that many would actually prefer to miss out on an opportunity than keep paying each time they leave and come back.
To this effect, business executives within the kingdom, led by Irshad Cader, have demanded that the Saudi Arabian government lifts the requirement for exit and re-entry visa; especially for them that have a valid Iqama. This is in accordance to the report published by Arab News
They suggested that such Iqama holders should indeed be treated as residents who can come and go from the Kingdom as they please, more so if they do not stay away from the kingdom for more than 6 months.
In addition to this, such Iqama holders should be given the chance to have a five- year resident permit that would be charged SR 5,000 and would require to be renewed as soon as the 5 year term lapses.
This plays out as a benefit for both the government and the expatriates in these ways: one, the fee charged per permit per individual would build up to millions for the government as there are millions of expatriates in the kingdom currently (not to mention the charges of issuing Iqama to the non- residents) and two, the expatriates have ease of access in and out of the Kingdom to grow their businesses and professions.
In all truth, the government does not stand to lose anything by accepting this petition. The growth of expatriates’ businesses only works to improve the Kingdom’s economy one way or the other and takes nothing away from the government in the long run.
Allowing this petition to go through would actually attract more business people and hefty investors from foreign regions to come and conduct their businesses here.
The one suggestion that carried the day was the sponsorship petition.
Top business gurus suggest that if the government was to go a step further and offer sponsorship policies for the families of these business expatriates instead of a salary, it would actually motivate them to continue living in the kingdom and conduct more business while still there.
With their families close at hand, expatriates would be more relaxed and able to concentrate on their work, stay in the Kingdom longer and thus build its economy.
This petition can only bear good fruits for the kingdom really!