Saudi Arabia has declared that it will now allow all expat residents in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries to get a tourist visa.
The new decision, announced by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), means that regardless of their profession, expat residents can apply via the “Visit Saudi” platform for an e-visa, given that their residence permit is valid for no less than 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
According to the MoT, first-degree relatives of residence visa holders and domestic workers, hoping to visit the Kingdom with their sponsors are also eligible for this scheme.
MoT also remarked that the multiple entry visa is valid for both tourism as well as Umrah. The decision to permit expats in UAE and other GCC countries is different from previous policies of Saudi Arabia, which only allowed specific professions before.
In addition, the new tourist visa doesn’t allow the holder to perform Hajj or Umrah in the Hajj season. However, visa holders can perform Umrah during the rest of the days.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, tweeted on Thursday that the new visa application process is “simpler, more convenient and straightforward for residents of GCC states, regardless of their profession.”
The Umrah visa has also been extended by the Saudi government from 30 to 90 days, letting holders enter the country through any land, air, or sea entry point.