Since the discovery of oil in the region in the late 1930s, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has attracted many expats. Saudi Arabia invited experts and labourers worldwide so the nation could take maximum advantage of its vast oil reserves.
With the introduction of Saudisation in 2016, Saudi Arabia is losing its allure to expats as authorities impose additional fees on sponsoring foreigners.
How many expats have left Saudi Arabia?
According to a recent report by the General Authority for Statistics, the number of foreign workers living in Saudi Arabia fell dramatically in 2020. More than 257,000 expats left in the third quarter of last year. Estimates show that around 1.2 million expats left in the course of 2020.
The number of foreign workers leaving Saudi Arabia is expected to continue to increase.
What is Saudisation?
The steady decline in foreign workers has partly been caused by the government’s efforts to boost employment of locals within the Kingdom.
Officially known as the Saudi Nationalisation Scheme, or Nitaqat, the policy is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 reforms announced in 2016. A key element of the plan is to reduce the number of unemployed Saudi nationals.
Saudi Arabia, like some other Gulf nations, does not have individual income tax. However, in July 2017, an expat levy of 100 Saudi Riyals per month to be paid by foreign nationals for each dependant they sponsor came into effect. The amount has gradually increased every year until 2020, to 400 Saudi Riyals per dependant.
All these factors have led to the country becoming less attractive to foreign workers.
“Expats are looking for additional security as Saudi Arabia has changed the tax system for foreign workers in order to balance the losses from the weak oil prices. In light of this, high-net-worth expats are planning ahead and looking for an exit strategy from the country, should it be needed,” says Paul Singh, Director at CS Global Partners.
Increase of Second Citizenship Applications from Saudi Expats
Data from a recent survey has shown that high-net-worth expats living in Saudi Arabia have become more interested in obtaining second citizenship through various citizenship by investment programmes. The Dubai-based firm saw a 46 per cent increase in interest from expats in Saudi Arabia, followed by Syrians, Indians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Yemenis, and Egyptians.
During this uncertain time, citizenship by investment can be the perfect Plan B to ensure security for one’s family and one’s finances. Over a dozen countries offer citizenship by investment programmes, but the highest concentration of these programmes is in the Caribbean.
How to invest in Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programmes?
Citizenship by investment programmes offer investors an opportunity to legally acquire a new nationality in return for an investment in the host country’s economy. These programmes confer citizenship status without causing any major disruptions to an investor’s life, provided they pass all the due diligence checks first, make a qualifying investment, and deliver all the correct documentation.
The Caribbean is a diverse region that boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and offers massive economic growth opportunities and personal wellbeing and safety. Most Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes do not have minimum stay requirements, which allow individuals to come and go as they please.
CS Global Partners is amongst one of the most trusted names in the immigration industry. We are known to assist individuals to decide which Caribbean citizenship by investment programme is best suited for their unique needs and aspirations. We will be more than happy to guide you and to take all necessary actions to make your dual citizenship journey as smooth as possible.