Saudi Arabia Scraps Visa Stickers, Introduces New e-Visa for 12 Countries

Saudi Arabia has made a significant move towards modernizing its visa system by scrapping visa stickers and implementing a new e-visa system for travelers from 12 countries. The new system features a QR code for verification and aims to streamline the visa process.
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Saudi Arabia has taken a significant step towards modernizing its visa system by eliminating visa stickers for travellers from 12 countries. The move comes as part of the country’s efforts to enhance automation procedures and improve consular services.

The new e-visa system, which features a Quick Response (QR) code for verification, replaces the traditional visa stickers on travellers’ passports.

12 Countries Affected by the New E-visa System

The 12 countries included in the updated list are Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Uganda, Lebanon, Nepal, Turkiye, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Morocco, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to a gradual timetable set by Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authorities, the replacement decision will be implemented in stages for each country. The schedule is as follows;

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Countrye-Visa Implementation Date
PakistanJuly 24
YemenJuly 26
SudanAugust 2
UgandaAugust 7
LebanonAugust 9
NepalAugust 14
TurkiyeAugust 16
Sri LankaAugust 21
KenyaAugust 23
MoroccoAugust 28
ThailandAugust 30
VietnamSeptember 4

Must Read: Saudi Arabia Announces New E-Visa Options for Global Travellers

Valid Visa Stickers and Introduction of the E-visa System

It’s important to note that visa stickers issued before the implementation dates remain valid. The introduction of the e-visa system was initiated by the Saudi Foreign Ministry, aiming to streamline visa processes and make them more accessible.

The beneficiary’s data will be stored in an electronic format readable through the QR code.

Phased Implementation and Expansion of e-Visa System

As part of the initial phase, the new e-visa procedure was launched at several Saudi missions abroad, including those in the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

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Saudi Arabia, with its significant expatriate community, is taking steps to improve consular services for granting work, residency, and visit visas.

Diversifying the Economy and Boosting Tourism

In addition to enhancing visa services, Saudi Arabia is keen on diversifying its economy, which has long been reliant on oil. The country’s focus on attracting more foreign visitors has yielded positive results, with tourist numbers already on the rise.

According to Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb, the country received 2.4 million visitors in January and 2.5 million in February. With a goal of welcoming 25 million foreign tourists this year, Saudi Arabia is making strides to become a premier tourist destination.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Announces Instant e-Visa for Tourists from UK, US, and Schengen Countries

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Conclusion

The implementation of the new e-visa system is expected to streamline the entry process for travellers and further bolster Saudi Arabia’s efforts to promote tourism and business opportunities in the kingdom.

With the gradual phasing out of visa stickers and the adoption of the e-visa system, the country is signalling its commitment to embracing modern technology and providing efficient consular services to visitors from around the world.


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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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