The Saudi government is going to add a new visa category ‘Host Visa’ in its newly-introduced regime. This will allow expatriates in the kingdom to invite their family members on personal sponsorship for up to 90 days.
The Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) and the Ministry of Haj and Umrah are deliberating on the introduction of the “host visa” service. The new category will be regulated through the Ministry of Interior’s portal ‘Absher.’
The new visa system will let citizens and expats host three to five Umrah pilgrims. As for citizens, they can sponsor anyone for up to 90 days, while the expats can only bring their close relatives.
As per sources, the authorities are working on the mechanism for the host visa, which will cost 500 Saudi Riyal for a year. After the issuance of a permit, a person can visit the Kingdom at least thrice a year.
The expats will be free to host their guests anywhere at the hotels, apartments, or their residence.
The individuals entering the KSA under host visas will be registered in the Civil Status registry of citizens and the Absher portal. There will be no restriction on their movements across the country after registration.
The host will be responsible for the wellbeing of their guests until they depart the country.
The development is part of the Saudi government’s new visa regime, which has opened its doors for foreign travelers. The visa policy, announced on September 27, has lifted the condition of abaya for foreigners. However, the ban on alcohol and ‘indecent activities’ remains in place.