Riyad: International investors no longer have to visit the Saudi embassy missions to obtain a visa to travel to the country. The Gulf country has launched the second phase of its e-visa service, enabling all foreign nationals to enter the country using the business visa that they can obtain online. The country has rolled out the second phase of its “Visiting investor' e-visa service, expanding its coverage from nearly 60 nations to include all countries worldwide, according to the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.
Can visit Saudi Arabia multiple times
An investor can make multiple entries to the country, using the e-visa service. The e-visa has a validity period of up to one year. Using the window, investors may receive instant access to the country and directly explore investment opportunities. The new business visa, which can be obtained through the online route, was launched in June last year. Application for the business visa under the Investor Visitor scheme should be forwarded to the portal of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The visa will be issued instantly from the digital embassy and can be accessed through e-mail. This service is part of the country’s ongoing efforts to align with the Vision 2030 initiative, with a focus on improving the investment environment and facilitating new business activities.
Mohammed Abahussain, deputy of Integrated Investors Services at the Ministry of Investment, has explained that the visa is designed to enhance the kingdom’s investment appeal and provide the employees of foreign entities the opportunity to apply for an electronic visitor visa through the ministry’s platform. It will manage the application process and digitally issue the authorization through the unified national visa platform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The new system also eliminates the need for physical visits to Saudi Embassy offices abroad for biometric data collection. The latest round of expansion includes individuals from countries listed on the “Invest in Saudi Arabia” platform, those holding valid tourist or business visas from the US, the UK, or Schengen countries, and those with permanent residency in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, or European Union countries. The new system will also benefit the individuals holding valid residency for a minimum of three months in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and entities licensed by the Ministry of Investment for three immediate visas per year.
As part of its drive to attract global businesses to set up operations in Saudi Arabia, the country has reported a surge of over 135 per cent in foreign investment licenses with the total number reaching 2,192 permits during the third quarter of 2023. It marks an improvement of 1,261 visas when compared to the same period in 2022, the official estimates by the Ministry of Investment revealed.