- Web Desk
- 5 Hours ago
Saudi Arabia expands visitor e-Visa to eight additional countries
- Web Desk
- Aug 07, 2023
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has decided to expand visitor e-visa to travellers from another eight countries for leisure, business, and religious (Umrah only) travel.
The eight newly-eligible countries are Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Nationals of these countries can apply for a Saudi visitor visa ahead of their journey via the official e-visa portal at visitsaudi.com/en/travel-regulations, according to the official Saudi Press News agency.
The visitor e-visa is valid for an entire year, grants multiple entries, and permits a stay of up to 90 days. And Visit Saudi offers an online trip planner for visitors to create custom itineraries with ease.
Since launching the e-visa program in 2019, Saudi Arabia has welcomed 93.5 million visits in 2022, a 93% increase compared to 2021, resulting in a tourism spend of SAR 185 billion (USD 49 billion).
This rapid tourism growth is due to expanding visa initiatives, which now include 57 nations and two special administrative regions, compared to the initial 49 countries at the program’s launch.
In 2022, Saudi Arabia extended regulations to provide a visitor e-visa to holders of valid Schengen, United Kingdom and United States of America visas that have been used to enter those countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia and to permanent residents of EU and GCC countries, and the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
And earlier this year, Saudi announced the launch of the free 96-hour Stopover Visa, allowing passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours. Stopover Visa holders will be eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through SAUDIA.
Travellers can use the Stopover Visa to explore Saudi and perform Umrah. Religious travellers can book flights through SAUDIA and Flynas and register for Umrah through the Nusuk platform.