Saudi Arabia relaxes visa requirements for Pakistani travellers

Saudi Arabia relaxes visa requirements for Pakistani travellers

Saudi Arabia has eased tourist visa requirements for Pakistani travellers with “immediate effect” wherein applicants can now submit a bank statement showing a minimum monthly credit amount of $750 or its equivalent, the Saudi Tourism Authority said on Wednesday.

Pakistani tourist arrivals to Saudi grew 43% in 2023 compared with the previous year. Saudi is aiming to welcome 2.7 million Pakistani visitors in 2024. To accommodate this growing demand, Saudi is making it easier for Pakistani travellers to obtain the visa prior to travel through one of six Tasheer offices established across the country in Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and Multan, as per the statement.

The Tasheer offices offer a convenient and user-friendly experience, including visa application guidance, biometric enrolment, status tracking, and passport delivery. Travellers can schedule an appointment on the Tasheer website prior to their visit.

In addition, Saudi has introduced the transit visa which is available for travellers arriving in Saudi via Saudia and Flynas, where they can transit and explore Saudi for up to 96 hours. Visa on arrival is available for those travellers who hold a valid and used UK, US or Schengen visa.

In the past year, Saudi introduced the one-year multiple entry visa for Pakistani travellers. This is a specific visa for those coming for personal visits such as attending weddings or functions or visiting friends or family. Holders of this visa can enjoy multiple visits to Saudi within a 12-month period, allowing them to explore the country’s vibrant cities, cultural richness, and natural wonders all year round.

Pakistani travellers with the one-year multiple entry visa can also perform Umrah, underscoring Saudi’s commitment to fostering spiritual journeys and cultural exchanges.

Making it easier to get a visa will encourage more Pakistani travellers to not only visit their friends and family and perform Umrah but will also encourage them to explore Saudi; from Riyadh’s vibrant city scape, Jeddah’s cultural richness, hidden treasures of the Red Sea, to the ancient marvels of AlUla.

Saudi is a year-round destination with several regions offering a cooler escape in summer while the busy calendar of events through winter is attracting more and more tourists each year, said the kingdom’s tourism authority.

Source: BBC

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