A Saudi man checks the flight timings at the King Khalid International Airport on May 16, 2021. — Reuters
A Saudi man checks the flight timings at the King Khalid International Airport on May 16, 2021. — Reuters

A new high-technology e-visa facility has been approved by Saudi Arabia for those applying to secure visit and transit visas to the Kingdom.

While the development of the technology was confirmed earlier this month, it was officially approved by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a cabinet meeting.

Following the approval of the facility, applicant’s will now be issued visa via a quick response (QR) code which will will easily read all the data letting go of the previous procedure which included a visa sticker on passports.

Earlier this month, the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs had launched the initiative as part of the digitisation of the Kingdom’s consular services which included visit visas, work permits and residence, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The process will automate and improve quality of consular service for the Kingdom’s visa seekers.

The new procedure, at the first stage, was activated throughout Saudi missions in India, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Last year, the ministry announced a mechanism for obtaining a “personal visit” visa, which enables visitors to enter the Kingdom to visit friends or acquaintances who are Saudi citizens,” Arab News reported earlier.

Through this visa, visitors were also allowed to travel across the Kingdom including the permission to perform Umrah, and visit Makkah and Madinah as well as other religious and historical place. The visa also permitted attending cultural events in the country.

Using the visa platform website, the ministry allowed people to apply for the visa via convenient and easy electronic steps.

“Saudi citizens can invite friends to visit Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah by submitting a request for a personal visit on the visa platform and applying for a ‘visit’ request, by logging in through the unified national access platform, and filling out the data for the invitees,” Arab News mentioned in its report.

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