Earlier in April this year, Albania’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sami Shiba, announced that from April to the end of October 2019, Saudis could travel visa free to the country known for its rich history, diverse landscape, stunning castles, and archaeological sites. This month, Saudis have one more country to add to their travel list when it comes to that no-stress visa process: India.
According to Saudi Gazette, the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia announced this week that Saudi nationals can now apply for a visa online. The visas available online include e-tourist, e-business, e-conference, and e-medical visas. It was also announced that the Indian government would not be charging any additional fees for the grant of emergency or express e-visa. As highlighted by the site, people looking to visit India can find all the information needed on the website of India's Bureau of Immigration at https://boi.gov.in.
The news article also highlighted eligibility criteria for the various kinds of e-visas, and it mentioned that those seeking to travel to India must have return tickets or onward tickets, sufficient funds for the duration of their stay, and a passport with at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India.
In addition, the passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the immigration officer. With regards to e-medical, e-medical attendant, and e-conference visas, applicants need to apply online minimum four days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 120 days.
Today, Saudi Arabians can travel to over 60 countries around the world without a visa, to countries such as Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Lebanon, Madagascar, New Zealand, and South Korea. With regards to visitors to the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia has been working to open its doors to visitors from around the world.
Although a country rich with exceptional natural, cultural, and heritage sites, Saudi Arabia is only now developing its tourism sector beyond its current structure, which has been designed to cater all-year-round to religious pilgrims.
Its various recent efforts are part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to bring in more tourists and is seen as an important step towards realizing the objectives of its Vision 2030 national plan, which aim at diversifying its oil-dependent economy, modernizing its society, and providing diverse work opportunities for its youth.