Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched an electronic visa waiver for visitors from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
The measures have been lauded for facilitating easier access for British and Irish nationals who want to visit the Kingdom.
Visitors from either country can now be issued a single-entry e-visa which allows them to stay in the country for up to six months. It applies to those visiting for business, tour-ism, study and medical treatment.
Applicants wishing to obtain the e-visa can do so by completing an application form on the Unified National Visa Platform, accessible through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
The submission window for the application is open from 90 days to two days prior to the scheduled travel date to the Kingdom.
Once the application is successfully submitted, the approved visa will be delivered to the applicant via email within a span of 24 hours.
James Elliot-Square, regional business development manager at advisory company PRO Partner Group, told Al Araiya English that the measures will ease travel restrictions and attract more tourists.
“Under the recently introduced Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW), British nationals now have the opportunity to enter Saudi Arabia with a single entry and stay for a maximum of six months.”
“This new scheme offers UK citizens the flexibility to visit the Kingdom for various purposes, including tourism, business, study, or medical treatment.”
“The introduction of this new e-visa waiver for Brits, is a clear indicator of Saudi Arabia’s attempts to attract talent, businesses and custom from the United Kingdom, as one of Saudi’s largest foreign investor nations – showing that Saudi Arabia recognises the UK as a serious long-term source of investment.”
In July, Saudi Arabia announced new instant e-visa options for travelers with UK, US, Schengen visas, as well as permanent residents of those countries, as part of measures to ease travel restrictions, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported at the time.
Travelers can apply for an instant e-visa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
The latest visa measures also contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan of reaching 100 million visits annually by 2030.
Since opening to tourism in 2019, Saudi Arabia has become one of the fastest-growing tourism markets globally, recording 93.5 million visits in 2022, according to SPA.