Saudi Arabia launches Transit Visa Service For Pilgrims On Stopovers

source by: (AFP)

On Monday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry inaugurated an electronic visa service for transit travellers.

The transit visa for stopovers permits transit passengers to conduct Umrah, visit the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and travel Saudi Arabia.

The stopover visa will allow travellers to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 96 hours, allowing more people to see its rich historical, cultural, and spiritual monuments.

The new service starts on Monday, and people can apply for a transit visa through Saudia Airlines and Flynas’s online platforms.

The application will be sent automatically to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ unified national visa platform to be processed. The person who needs it will get an e-mail with a digital visa right away.

The ministry said that the e-Transit visa for stopovers will help the Kingdom reach its Vision 2030 goals by strengthening its position and taking advantage of its strategic location as a link between continents. It will also help the country reach its goal of 100 million visitors per year.

The visa is free, granted instantly with the traveler’s ticket, valid for three months, and allows a four-day stay in the Kingdom.

Custom 24, 48, 72, and 96-hour itineraries encourage travellers to explore Jeddah’s Al-Balad or Diriyah’s Al-Turaif, one of Saudi Arabia’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

“It is open to travellers passing through Saudi Arabia on our national carriers, whether for leisure, business, or Umrah. We will continue to work together across government and the tourism ecosystem as Saudi Arabia becomes a leading global tourist destination,” he said.

“Today’s announcement of Saudi Arabia’s first stopover visa is a landmark example of how the public and private sectors can work together. In 2022, four of the world’s top ten routes came into or left from Saudi airports, which shows how popular Saudi Arabia is as a tourist destination.”

The visa, according to the CEOs of SAUDIA and flynas, is a significant step toward transforming the Kingdom into a major hub connecting East and West.

“We are convinced it will significantly benefit the growing number of transit passengers while boosting our position as a hub that connects East and West,” Captain Ibrahim Koshy at SAUDIA stated.

“The new service will also make it easier for people to do Umrah, go to important places, and go to events and Saudi seasons.