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Monday, July 15, 2024

Saudi Arabia eases tourist visa requirements for Pakistani tavelers

Saudi Arabia has announced the relaxation of its tourist visa requirements for Pakistani travelers, effective immediately.

Saudi Arabia has announced the relaxation of its tourist visa requirements for Pakistani travelers, effective immediately. The Saudi Tourism Authority made this announcement on Wednesday, marking a substantial shift in facilitating easier access for Pakistani visitors to the kingdom.

Simplified Visa Requirements

Under the new regulations, Pakistani applicants can now submit a bank statement showing a minimum monthly credit amount of $750 or its equivalent. This change is designed to make the visa application process more accessible and straightforward, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s commitment to attracting more tourists from Pakistan.

Read More: Denied and charged: The price Pakistanis pay for failed UK and EU visa attempts

Rapid Growth in Pakistani Tourists

The decision to ease visa requirements follows a notable 43% increase in Pakistani tourist arrivals to Saudi Arabia in 2023 compared to the previous year. Saudi Arabia aims to welcome 2.7 million Pakistani visitors in 2024, a target that underscores the kingdom’s strategic focus on fostering tourism from Pakistan.

Tasheer Offices for Streamlined Processing

To accommodate the growing demand and ensure a seamless visa application process, Saudi Arabia has established six Tasheer offices across Pakistan. These offices are located in Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and Multan. They offer a convenient and user-friendly experience, providing services such as visa application guidance, biometric enrollment, status tracking, and passport delivery. Applicants can schedule appointments via the Tasheer website, enhancing the overall efficiency and ease of obtaining a visa.

New Transit Visa and Visa on Arrival

In addition to the relaxed tourist visa requirements, Saudi Arabia has introduced a transit visa for travelers arriving via the Saudia and Flynas airlines. This visa allows visitors to transit and explore Saudi Arabia for up to 96 hours, providing a unique opportunity to experience the kingdom during layovers.

Moreover, travelers holding a valid and used UK, US, or Schengen visa can benefit from a visa on arrival, further simplifying the process for frequent international travelers.

One-Year Multiple Entry Visa

Last year, Saudi Arabia launched a one-year multiple entry visa specifically for Pakistani travelers. This visa caters to those visiting for personal reasons such as attending weddings, functions, or visiting friends and family. The visa permits multiple visits within a 12-month period, allowing travelers to explore Saudi Arabia’s vibrant cities, cultural richness, and natural wonders throughout the year. Importantly, holders of this visa can also perform Umrah, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s dedication to promoting spiritual journeys and cultural exchanges.

Encouraging Exploration of Saudi Arabia

The eased visa requirements are expected to encourage more Pakistani travelers to visit their friends and family, perform Umrah, and explore the diverse attractions Saudi Arabia has to offer. From Riyadh’s dynamic cityscape and Jeddah’s cultural heritage to the hidden treasures of the Red Sea and the ancient wonders of AlUla, Saudi Arabia provides a wealth of experiences for tourists.

Read More: UAE Introduces Blue Visa: 10-Year Residency for Environmental Experts

Saudi Arabia is positioning itself as a year-round destination. Several regions offer a cooler escape during the summer months, while the busy calendar of events throughout the winter continues to attract an increasing number of tourists each year. The Saudi Tourism Authority emphasizes that making it easier to obtain a visa will not only facilitate visits for personal and religious reasons but will also encourage tourists to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural sites.