Saudi Arabia expands e-visa program for tourists
To boost tourism, Saudi Arabia has expanded its e-tourist visa program by adding citizens of six more countries. The total number of visas issued now reaches 63, according to the Saudi Ministry of Tourism. Under the e-visa program, citizens of Turkey, Thailand, Mauritius, Seychelles, Panama, and St. Kitts and Nevis can now apply for a Saudi Arabian visitor visa before their trip through the official e-visa portal.
"The Kingdom welcomes the world by expanding and optimizing the issuance of e-visas to six new countries, allowing them to be issued electronically or at points of entry into the Kingdom to ensure an unforgettable travel experience," the Saudi Ministry of Tourism said in an official statement.
"This expansion of the e-tourist visa program is a major achievement for Saudi Arabia and demonstrates its continued commitment to achieving the goals outlined in its ambitious Vision 2030 plan." E-visa holders are also given the opportunity to visit all religious sites and perform umrah.
As of July 11, 2023, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah officially opened the umrah season, allowing foreigners to enter the country to perform the pilgrimage. Different types of visas are available to individuals wishing to perform umrah hajj.
In addition, the ministry noted that residents and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals have been given the opportunity to request entry permits using two applications, Nusuk and Tawakkalna. The latest expansion of the e-tourist visa program, preceding yesterday's expansion, includes citizens of the following countries:
- South Africa
This extensive list offers travelers unique opportunities to discover Saudi Arabia's diverse cultural heritage, spectacular scenery and prospects for economic development.
The e-tourist visa is valid year-round, allows multiple entries and provides visitors with a stay of up to 90 days. Travelers from eligible countries can easily apply for an e-visa online or upon arrival at any of Saudi Arabia's international airports.
When it comes to applying for Saudi Arabia visa, applicants can visit the e-visa website and click on the "Apply Now" button. They then need to fill out a visa application form, pay the appropriate visa fee and wait for their e-visa to be processed, which usually takes about 30 minutes.