Saudi Arabia broadens e-visa eligibility to include visitors from three new countries

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism announced on Wednesday it has expanded its e-visa ambit to include nationals from three new countries, as the Kingdom moves forward with its efforts to boost its tourism sector.

Nationals of Barbados, Commonwealth of Bahamas, and Grenada can now apply for a visitor visa electronically or upon arrival at one of the Kingdom’s ports, the ministry said in a post on X.

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With these new additions, tourist e-visas to Saudi Arabia will now be accessible to nationals from more than 60 nations.

This visa type allows visitors to come to Saudi Arabia as tourists, participate in business events, visit friends and relatives in the Kingdom and also perform Umrah.

However, the ministry noted that holders of this visa type are not allowed to “work for a wage or perform Umrah during Hajj season.”

The tourism ministry “introduced the visit visa in September 2019 as part of a broader initiative to showcase Saudi Arabia’s rich tourist offerings, engage visitors in cultural experiences, and promote international interaction,” according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The decision to include more countries in the e-visa program is in line with the Kingdom’s strategy and aspirations outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030.

These goals include increasing the tourism industry’s contribution to the GDP beyond 10 percent and creating one million jobs.

Tourism Minister Ahmed al-Khateeb announced earlier this year that Saudi authorities now hope to hit 150 million tourists by 2030, up from an earlier goal of 100 million, with 70 million of those coming from abroad, up from an earlier goal of 30 million.

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