Saturday, May 25, 2024

Saudi Arabia Offers E-Visa Facility to 6 More Countries

Saudi Arabia has expanded its electronic visitor visa to include citizens from six additional countries, making it a total of 63 nations now eligible.

The newly included countries are Turkey, Thailand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Mauritius. People from these nations can apply for a tourist visa online or receive it upon arrival at Saudi Arabia’s international airports.

This visa permits various activities, including tourism, Umrah visits outside of the Hajj season, attending events, exhibitions, conferences, and visiting friends and relatives. It offers multiple entries, is valid for a full year, and allows stays of up to 90 days.

Visitors should adhere to the specified duration of stay on the visa, and it’s important to note that this visa doesn’t allow for Umrah during the Hajj season.

Additionally, individuals with valid Schengen, UK, and US visas that have been used to enter those countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia, as well as permanent residents of EU and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the UK, and the US, can also obtain the visitor e-visa.

Saudi Arabia is making changes to its visa regulations to attract tourists and fulfill its Vision 2030, which aims to boost the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP and create job opportunities.

The country witnessed substantial growth in tourism in 2022, recording 94 million visits and significant tourism expenditure.

Authorities aim to welcome 100 million visitors by 2030 and increase the tourism sector’s GDP contribution to 10 percent.

Saudi Arabia also successfully received over 2 million Hajj pilgrims in 2023, marking a significant milestone in the post-COVID era.

Previously, e-visas were extended to citizens of Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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