Saudi Arabia Opens eVisa to GCC Residents

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Residents of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can now apply for a Saudi Arabia visa online, following the announcement from the country’s Ministry of Tourism.

The Saudi Arabia eVisa, or electronic visa, can be obtained by filling in a short online form. GCC residents can now use the digital platform to get a visa to visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist.

This latest change in policy is expected to encourage more people living in neighboring countries to visit Saudi Arabia and boost the tourism sector. This is one of the main aims of the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 project.

By making it possible to get a visa online, it is now easier than ever for GCC residents to authorize a trip to Saudi Arabia. Previously, it was necessary for many foreign citizens to go to their country’s embassy and file a visa application in person.

According to Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, “elevating the visitor experience is at the heart of the tourism sector’s future.”

Saudi Arabia Opens eVisa to GCC Residents

Do Qatar or UAE Residents Need a Visa for Saudi Arabia?

The exact rules about who needs a Saudi Arabia visa depend on the nationality of the individual.

Citizens of GCC countries like Qatar and the UAE do not need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia, due to the policy of free movement within the GCC.

However, other foreign residents of GCC countries need a visa to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Thanks to the latest change in Saudi Arabia’s visa policy, all foreign residents of GCC countries can get their Saudi Arabia visa online.

This move is aimed at encouraging more GCC residents to visit the Kingdom, since the eVisa is regarded as the most convenient and fastest way to get a Saudi visa.

How Does This Change in Saudi Visa Policy Affect GCC Residents?

As a general rule, only citizens of certain countries may use the eVisa system to get a Saudi visa online. These countries include most of Europe, the US, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Previously, only foreign GCC residents of these nationalities were able to get the Saudi eVisa.

Residents from other countries would have to go to their embassy to submit a visa application in person. This was a more complicated and lengthy process than the online version.

Now, the online visa is available to all residents of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE, regardless of nationality.

This makes applying for a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia much quicker and easier for those residents who previously were ineligible.

Saudi eVisa for GCC Residents to Boost Tourism

Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb approved the amendments to Saudi Arabia’s visa regulations to make the Kingdom more accessible to foreign visitors by making it faster and easier to authorize a trip.

Al-Khateeb spoke of the need to attract more visitors and build the country’s tourism sector:

“On track to deliver our ambitious Vision 2030 goals, this is an important step as we develop a sustainable, resilient, and competitive tourism sector while also delivering for our people.

“Tourism bridges cultures and connects communities, it provides opportunities and uplifts neighborhoods, and I am proud to lead the ministry as we build this future together.”

Making the eVisa more widely available is seen as a step towards achieving this, due to the online visa’s popularity.Since Saudi Arabia launched its electronic visa platform in 2019, it has issued over one million eVisas to tourists from around the world. It is expected that there will be many more applicants from the other GCC member states now that the eVisa is available to residents of these countries.

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