Saudi Arabia Opens its Doors Wider to the World, Expands its e-Visa Program

Saudi Arabia Opens its Doors Wider to the World, Expands its e-Visa Program
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In a bid to make it easier than ever before to experience the authentic home of Arabia, Saudi Arabia will grant visitor visas to travelers from six newly-eligible countries – Türkiye, Thailand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Mauritius - for leisure, business, and religious (Umrah only) travel. Nationals of these countries can apply for a Saudi visitor visa ahead of their journey via the official e-visa portal at visa.visitsaudi.com.

 "Saudi is reimagining the tourism experience, with the famously warm and generous Saudi welcome –known as Hafawah– at the heart of its plans," a press release by the Saudi Tourism Authority said. The visitor e-visa is valid for an entire year, grants multiple entries, and permits a stay of up to 90 days. Moreover, Visit Saudi offers an online trip planner for visitors to create custom itineraries easily.​

 From visiting Saudi’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, snorkeling and diving in Saudi’s Red Sea –one of the world’s most spectacular undiscovered diving spots– wandering Taif’s world-famous Rose Gardens, shopping like a local in Riyadh’s Deira Souq, chartering the unknown on land in the lush, green Asir region and tasting Saudi’s diverse and delicious culinary scene from fragrant Arabic dishes to internationally-renowned fine dining restaurants, there is something for everyone.​

 Since the launch of Saudi’s visitor e-visa in 2019, Saudi has eased access for millions and accelerated tourism growth on an unmatched scale. The strength of the ever-increasing demand to visit Saudi Arabia has been led by a range of visa initiatives. On September 27, 2019, the Ministry of Tourism launched the visitor visa program, targeting 49 countries, which has now increased to 63 after the addition of further six countries and special administrative regions. ​

 In 2022, Saudi extended its 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, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States of America.​

 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. Travelers can use the Stopover Visa to explore Saudi and perform Umrah. Religious travelers can book flights through SAUDIA and Flynas but must also register for Umrah through Nusuk platform.​​

 More information on the Saudi tourist e-visa can be found at www.visitsaudi.com/en/travel-regulations and @AskVisitSaudi.

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