Explore Saudi Arabia: New Stopover, eVisa, and Visa on Arrival Options

In an effort to boost tourism, Saudi Arabia has introduced a variety of new visa options for International travellers, such as Stopover visas, eVisas, and Visas on Arrival. These measures aim to double Indian tourist numbers to 2.2 million by 2024.
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In a landmark move to enhance global tourism, Saudi Arabia has expanded its eVisa program to 66 countries and introduced a suite of new visa options to accommodate travelers from around the world.

Saudi Arabia aims to position itself as a leading travel destination through these initiatives and expects a significant increase in the number of international visitors by the end of 2024.

New Visa Options for International Visitors

Saudi Arabia’s expanded visa program includes a variety of options tailored to the diverse needs of global travelers:

Stopover Visas: Ideal for Short Visits

Travelers from around the world can now benefit from the Stopover visa, which allows a stay of up to 96 hours in Saudi Arabia. This visa can be applied for up to 90 days in advance through the Saudia airline website, with only a nominal administration and insurance fee. It’s a perfect choice for those transiting through the kingdom or planning brief stays.

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eVisas: Expanded Access for 66 Countries

The eVisa program has been significantly broadened to include 66 countries, enabling more travellers to easily access Saudi Arabia. Eligible visitors holding valid tourist or business visas from countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Schengen Area can apply for an eVisa before departure via the official Saudi visa portal.

This also applies to permanent residents of these countries and those with a valid residence visa from a GCC country, provided it remains valid for at least three months beyond the intended entry date.

Visas on Arrival: Seamless Entry at Airports

For those who qualify for the eVisa, Saudi Arabia also offers the Visa on Arrival option. You can obtain this visa upon landing at Saudi international airports. Travellers can apply at self-service kiosks or passport control offices. This option provides flexibility for last-minute travel plans and simplifies the entry process.

Expanded Visa Application Centers Across India

To support the increasing demand, Saudi Arabia has established 10 visa facilitation centers in major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kolkata, and Calicut. There are plans to open additional centers in more locations, making visa application more accessible for Indian travellers.

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Part of Saudi Vision 2030

The expansion of the eVisa program and introduction of new visa options are integral to Saudi Vision 2030, the kingdom’s ambitious plan to diversify its economy and promote itself as a top global tourist destination.

By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to attract millions of international tourists, boosting its tourism sector and creating a dynamic travel environment.

Facilitating Religious Tourism

The new visa options also provide greater convenience for those wishing to perform Umrah, enhancing the experience for religious pilgrims worldwide. These changes reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment to facilitating religious tourism and ensuring a smooth pilgrimage experience.

Further Information

For comprehensive details on visa applications and eligibility, prospective travelers are encouraged to visit the official platforms at visa.mofa.gov.sa and vc.tasheer.com.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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