Saudi Arabian authorities have extended the reach of their recently introduced electronic visa (e-visa) program to encompass a broader array of nations. This expansion facilitates the application process for electronic visas for citizens from eight additional countries, streamlining their travel arrangements.
Individuals hailing from Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are now eligible for the visitor e-visa. This e-visa category caters to purposes such as leisure, business, and religious travel, specifically for Umrah.
Applicants from these countries have the option to apply for the e-visa online or avail it upon their arrival at various ports of Saudi Arabia.
With this enhancement, the total count of countries entitled to the e-visa stands at 57, with the possibility of more inclusions in the future.
It’s important to emphasize that the visitor e-visa holds a validity of one year, permits multiple entries, and grants a maximum stay of 90 days. This e-visa empowers tourists to explore diverse regions of Saudi Arabia and participate in Umrah.
Saudi Arabia is elevating its visa infrastructure and has recently substituted traditional visa stickers with QR codes for countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco, and others. Additionally, they’ve introduced expedited e-visa options for travelers possessing UK, US, and Schengen visas, as well as for permanent residents of these countries.
These progressive visa reforms constitute an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, aiming to attract an annual influx of 100 million visitors by 2030. The nation is rapidly evolving into a thriving tourism hub, witnessing 93.5 million visits in 2022. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Saudi Arabia successfully accommodated over 2 million Hajj pilgrims this year.