The Saudi Arabian government has unveiled the second phase of its electronic business visit visa program, commonly known as the “visiting investor” e-visas. This strategic move is in line with the broader goal of attracting foreign direct investment and is in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the country’s economy, entice international investors, enhance the investment landscape, and secure substantial investments.
The “visiting investor” e-visa is specifically designed to streamline the application process for foreign investors. Mohammed Abahussain, the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Investment, emphasized that this process eliminates the need for in-person consultations with Saudi representatives abroad to obtain biometric data. The e-visa, which is valid for one year and allows for multiple entries, aims to enhance Saudi Arabia’s accessibility for investors.
Furthermore, the eligibility criteria for the instant e-visa have been expanded by the ministries to include individuals with valid tourist or commercial visas from the United States, the United Kingdom, or any Schengen country who have previously visited these nations. Permanent residents in the United States, the United Kingdom, or any EU country, as well as individuals with valid residency of at least three months in any GCC country, can also avail of the e-visa option.
Simultaneously, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tourism has broadened access to its electronic tourist visa program, extending it to nationals from additional countries, in a bid to bolster tourism and economic diversification endeavors. These developments underscore Saudi Arabia’s commitment to creating a more hospitable environment for foreign investors, skilled professionals, tourists, and visitors, with the overarching goal of strengthening its position in the global economy.