All foreign nationals living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nations will now be able to obtain a tourist visa, according to Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has announced a change that will allow any expat residents, regardless of their line of work, to apply for an e-visa through the “Visit Saudi” website as long as their residency permit is still good for at least three months.
#SaudiArabia visa application is now simpler, more convenient and straightforward for residents of GCC states, regardless of their profession. Apply now https://t.co/wyvezLCitl pic.twitter.com/GrzwhpzrE5
— Ahmed Al Khateeb أحمد الخطيب (@AhmedAlKhateeb) March 9, 2023
The MoT states that domestic employees and first-degree relatives of people with residency visas who want to travel to the Kingdom with their sponsors are also eligible for this programme.
The multiple entrance visa is valid for both travel and umrah, according to MoT. The decision to allow expats in the UAE and other GCC nations differs from Saudi Arabia’s prior policy, which exclusively permitted certain occupations.
The new tourist visa also prohibits performing the Hajj or Umrah during the Hajj season. But, those who have a visa may undertake the Umrah on the remaining days.
The new visa application process is “simpler, more convenient and straightforward for inhabitants of GCC states, regardless of their occupation,” according to Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, in a tweet posted on Thursday.
The Saudi government has also increased the validity of the Umrah visa from 30 to 90 days, allowing holders to enter the kingdom by any land, air, or sea entry port.
Those who are interested can learn more about the visa at www.visitsaudi.com or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official website, www.mofa.gov.sa.