India starts issuing e-visas for Saudi nationals

The e-visas will be issued within 72 hours, and are valid for one year



The Indian government has introduced the e-visa facility for Saudi nationals in a bid to increase the number of visitors from the kingdom, local daily Arab News reported.

“I am happy to announce that the e-visa facility is now available to Saudi nationals, and all related agencies have been informed,” India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed told the paper.

“Saudi nationals can apply for the visa online from the comfort of their homes or from anywhere in the world.”

Applicants will need to submit valid identification documents, like passports, and a debit or credit card to pay the e-visa fee.

Applicants can opt for tourist, business or medical visas. Once the e-visa application is submitted, confirmation will be filed within 24 hours and approval will granted within 72 hours.

The e-visa will then be sent via email.

The e-visas will be valid for one year with an option for multiple entries. Each stay is valid up to 90 days, the report said.

The decision to add Saudi Arabia to the list of countries eligible for e-visas was first announced in February. India has also decided to scrap the biometric visa system for Saudi nationals.

The two countries have been seeking to improve bilateral ties in recent years. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Riyadh in April 2016, while  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a trip to New Delhi in February.

Prince Mohammed said during the visit that he saw investment opportunities worth more than $100bn in India over the next two years.

Read: Saudi Crown Prince sees investment opportunities of over $100bn in India