In a significant move to boost tourism, Saudi Arabia has announced the introduction of multiple visa options for Indian citizens. The new visa options, including Stopover visas, eVisas, and Visas on Arrival, aim to double the number of Indian tourists visiting Saudi Arabia to 2.2 million by the end of 2024.

Indian travelers can now apply for a Stopover visa, valid for up to 96 hours. This visa can be obtained 90 days in advance through the Saudia airline website for a nominal administration and insurance fee.

Indian citizens holding valid tourist or business visas from the United States, United Kingdom, or any Schengen country, along with proof of entry stamps, are eligible for an eVisa. Permanent residents of these countries or individuals with a valid residence visa from a GCC country with at least three months of validity beyond the entry date into Saudi Arabia can also apply. The eVisa can be obtained before departure through the official portal.

Travellers who meet the criteria for the eVisa can also avail a Visa on Arrival at Saudi international airports. This option is available for those with valid tourist or business visas from the US, UK, or Schengen countries, and for permanent residents of these countries. Applications can be made at self-service kiosks or passport control offices at Saudi airports.

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Currently, there are 10 visa facilitation centers in India, located in Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kolkata, and Calicut. Plans are underway to open additional centers in more cities, enhancing accessibility for Indian travelers.This initiative is part of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to make India the number one source market for tourism. The long-term goal is to welcome 7.5 million Indian travelers by 2030, positioning Saudi Arabia as a premier destination for Indian tourists.

All the newly introduced visa options are valid for travelers wishing to perform Umrah, providing more convenience and flexibility for religious tourism.

For more details on visa applications, visit the official platforms at [visa.mofa.gov.sa](https://visa.mofa.gov.sa) and [vc.tasheer.com](https://vc.tasheer.com).

  • Published On Jul 4, 2024 at 06:08 PM IST

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