Saudi Arabia has launched the second phase of the e-visa facility known as the “Visiting Investor.” While this development is welcomed by many, it’s noteworthy that Pakistan is notably absent from the list of eligible countries.
Expanding E-Visa Accessibility: A Global Outreach
Saudi Arabia’s decision to expand its e-visa facility demonstrates a commitment to streamlining travel procedures for international visitors. The “Visiting Investor” program eliminates the need for physical visits to Saudi embassies.
Nearly 60 Eligible Countries: A Broad Spectrum
The e-visa facility has been extended to nearly 60 countries worldwide. This development opens up doors for travelers from various corners of the globe, enhancing Saudi Arabia’s appeal as a destination for both business and leisure.
Notable Omission: Pakistan’s Exclusion
One surprising aspect of this expansion is Pakistan’s absence from the list of eligible countries. Despite Pakistan’s strong ties with Saudi Arabia, its nationals still need to be granted access to the electronic business visit visa.
Access Granted to Other Asian Nations
Several Asian countries have been included in the list of eligible nations. This expansion benefits citizens of Azerbaijan, Brunei, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand, among others. The e-visa offers an efficient alternative to these nations’ traditional visa application process.
Efforts to Simplify Visa Application
The Ministry of Investment has clarified that the e-visa initiative aims to simplify the visa application process for eligible travelers. While Pakistani nationals must still visit the Saudi embassy for visa applications, the program demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s commitment to enhancing accessibility.
Eligibility Beyond Listed Countries
Apart from the listed countries, individuals with valid tourist or business visas from the US, the UK, or Schengen countries and those holding permanent residency in the US, the UK, or EU countries can also benefit from this initiative.
The omission of Pakistan from the list of eligible countries raises questions. As Saudi Arabia continues to evolve its visa processes, whether Pakistani travelers will eventually gain access to this convenient e-visa facility remains to be seen.