Saudi Arabia has introduced a new free transit visa allowing stopover passengers to stay in the Kingdom for up to four days.
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The transit visa came into effect on Monday, and visitors can apply through the Saudia Airlines and Flynas websites, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. The visa will be processed immediately.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced the visa in order to boost tourism – part of the Vision 2030 strategy, SPA reported.
The transit visa will be issued with plane tickets from Saudia and Flynas, and will be valid for three months.
Earlier this month, Saudia Airlines spokesperson Abdullah al-Shahrani announced that the airline would offer the service of issuing a tourist visa for free when purchasing a ticket.
This is the latest in a raft of visa reforms in Saudi Arabia, most recently with the introduction of visa-on-arrival for certain passport holders in September 2022.
“Today’s announcement of Saudi’s inaugural Stopover Visa is a landmark example of integrated public and private sector cooperation,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, Saudi Tourism Authority CEO in a statement.
“Four of the Top Ten global routes were in or out of Saudi airports in 2022, a testament to the appeal of destination Saudi.”
Ahmed al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, added: “The new Stopover Visa is yet another proof point in Saudi’s commitment to developing and encouraging growth in the tourism sector.”
“It is open for travelers passing through Saudi on our national carriers whether for leisure, business or Umrah.”
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