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Saudi Arabia to introduce ‘green card’ for expats

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has decided to issue ‘green cards’ within five years to allow resident expatriates to have more rights at par with other citizens in the Kingdom.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made this announcement during a television interview on Monday. He described the policy change  to improve Saudi’s investment climate, reported Emirates247.

He said planned sweeping reforms, of which the proposed green card is one, will be implemented even if oil prices rise back above $70 a barrel and pledged to end Riyadh’s dependence on crude revenue by 2020.

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The “green card” plan was earlier disclosed by Deputy Crown Prince, prompting positive response from many expatriates. The plan will help expatriates ease away from the tight hold of sponsors, many of whom have been exploiting both white and blue-collar workers.

Though the modalities of how to attain this “green card” are to be framed, there are essentials that the future card holders will be required to do or get once obtaining the card.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Read more: Saudi unveils far-reaching plan to move away from oil dependence

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday it would create the world’s largest wealth fund and sell shares in state energy giant Aramco as it unveiled a vast plan to transform its oil-dependent economy.

The announcement of the long-term reform programme, dubbed “Saudi Vision 2030”, marks the beginning of a hugely ambitious attempt to move Saudi Arabia beyond oil, the backbone of its economy for decades, amid a steep fall in prices.

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The key architect of the diversification plan, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, said that if it works Saudi Arabia “can live without oil by 2020”.

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