In this handout photograph taken on February 17, 2019 released by Prime Minister Office (PMO), Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (unseen) at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. - Pakistan was set to confer its highest civilian honour on the Saudi Crown Prince on February 18, a day after he signed investment deals worth $20 billion in the cash-strapped country -- his first stop on a high-profile Asian tour. (Photo by HANDOUT / PMO / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / PRIME MINISTER OFFICE  (PMO)" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - / XGTY
In this handout photograph taken on February 17, 2019 released by Prime Minister Office (PMO), Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (unseen) at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. - Pakistan was set to confer its highest civilian honour on the Saudi Crown Prince on February 18, a day after he signed investment deals worth $20 billion in the cash-strapped country -- his first stop on a high-profile Asian tour. (Photo by HANDOUT / PMO / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / PRIME MINISTER OFFICE (PMO)" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - / XGTY

Saudi Arabia on Sunday launched a new special residency scheme aimed at luring wealthy expats as the petro-state seeks to boost non-oil revenue. The scheme offers a permanent residency for 800,000 riyals (USD 213,000) and a one-year but renewable residency costing 100,000 riyals (USD 27,000), according to the online portal for registrations.

The scheme will allow expats to do business without a Saudi sponsor, buy property and sponsor visas for relatives, the website said. Analysts say the programme will largely benefit wealthy Arabs who have lived in Saudi Arabia for years without permanent residency or multinational companies seeking to do long-term business in the kingdom.

The move appears aimed at boosting non-oil revenue as the kingdom seeks to diversify its economy. It was approved by the Saudi cabinet last month, but the portal began accepting applications on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia is currently home to some 10 million overseas workers, many of whom are subjected to what labour activists describe as restrictive residency rules. Expat workers are typically sponsored by a Saudi employer and are required to get visas to exit and enter the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has seen a strong exodus of foreign workers in recent years amid rising costs after the government imposed fees on dependents and restricted foreigners from working in certain sectors. The kingdom is also in the midst of an intensifying crackdown on illegal workers that has seen hundreds of thousands expelled over the past two years.

(For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in