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19 Dec 2018

Schengen Nationals Can Now Travel to Saudi Arabia With an E-Visa

Schengen CountriesThe nationals of the 26 Schengen member countries will no longer need to apply for a regular visa for traveling to Saudi Arabia. Instead, they will only need to apply online for an e-visa, thus avoiding all the time-consuming process for obtaining a visa.

The Saudi Arabian e-visa will soon be launched and available for all citizens of the Schengen Zone and USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

A pilot project of the new system was previously launched for the fans of Formula E event, which was organized in Riyadh this year. The e-visa was valid for two weeks, and costed SAR640 (around €150). Nationals of 80 countries were eligible for application.

Its holders could travel throughout the whole desert country, but were restricted from entering the holy cities of Makkah and Medina.

“This process was limited to the Formula E. Usually if you apply for a visa it will take some time to get it and you will have to do it through the embassy. We did it [the e-visa] hand in hand with the ministry of foreign affairs. We went from a very complicated process to a very simple one,” Prince Abdulaziz said regarding the e-visa.

The relevant Saudi Arabian authorities will soon announce further details regarding the e-visa. The price of the visa, its validity and whether it permits the visitor to enter the holy Arabian cities or not, is still unknown.

The move has been undertaken in a bid to attract more international visitors and boost tourism industry. Currently, most of tourists to Saudi Arabia visit the country for religious purposes.

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