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Saudi Arabia expands investor e-visa to all countries

Saudi Arabia’s ministries of investment and foreign affairs have launched the second phase of issuing electronic business visit visas, according to the state-run news agency, Saudi Press Agency.

The second phase of “visiting investor”e-visas will cover the rest of the countries of the world as part of the kingdom’s broader strategy to boost foreign direct investment.

Saudi Arabia said the service is part of Vision 2030, the country’s economic transformation strategy that is aimed at attracting investors from all over the world, advancing the investment environment, facilitating the launching of businesses, and drawing substantial investments.

Mohammed Abahussain, the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Investment for Integrated Investor Services said the “visiting investor” e-visa is expected to attract foreign investors to apply for an electronic visa through the platform affiliated with the Ministry of Investment “Invest Saudi”.

“The process will take place without any need to consult with the kingdom’s representative offices abroad to obtain biometrics,” Abahussain said, adding that the visa is valid for one year and allows multiple entries.

The Ministries of Investment and Foreign Affairs have expanded the category of people who could benefit from the instant e-visa to include countries listed in the Ministry of Investment’s “Invest Saudi” platform.

The list includes individuals who have a valid tourist or commercial visa from the US, the UK or any Schengen country and who accessed at least once the countries where the visa is valid.

Individuals who have permanent residency in the US, the UK or any EU countries as well as those who have valid residency for at least three months in any GCC country can also benefit from the e-visa offering.

Saudi Arabia revamps visa system

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism expanded access to its electronic tourist visa to nationals from six new countries in October, taking the total to 63.

The kingdom said it will grant an e-visa to visitors from Turkey, Thailand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles and Mauritius.

Other travellers eligible to apply for this type of visa include residents in the US, the UK, and the EU countries as well as holders of visit visas to the US, UK, the Schengen area and residents in the GCC.

The visit visa allows the holder to tour Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah. The expansion of the visit visa system is part of Saudi efforts to consolidate the kingdom’s openness and support its development and economic diversity.

Over the years, Saudi Arabia has unveiled a set of measures to attract foreign investors, talent, visitors and holidaymakers.