Home » Saudi Arabia is Going to Replace Visa Stickers with QR Codes
Saudi Arabia is Going to Replace Visa Stickers with QR Codes

Saudi Arabia is Going to Replace Visa Stickers with QR Codes

Saudi Arabia, a nation known for its rich cultural heritage and religious significance, has recently taken a momentous leap in its visa system. The authorities have announced their plans to bid farewell to visa stickers for several countries, including Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, and others. This bold decision comes as part of the kingdom’s efforts to modernize and streamline its visa procedures.

The new visa system will see the traditional visa stickers replaced by QR codes, and e-visas will be issued to the countries listed in the official timeline. The implementation will be carried out in phases throughout 2023, aiming to enhance border security and facilitate smoother travel procedures for international visitors.

The first batch of countries, including Pakistan, witnessed the change on 24th July. This transition will extend to other nations, such as Sri Lanka and Kenya, later in the year, fostering economic growth and cultural exchange between Saudi Arabia and the world.

Aviation authorities have already informed airlines operating in the country about the updates to ensure a seamless travel experience. The transition will initially apply to employment (iqama) and visit visas.

The new system will offer visa information on a standard A4-sized paper, making it easy for verification. It’s important to note that previously issued visas will remain valid, so travelers need not worry about their existing documentation.

This innovative approach to visa processing aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader vision of becoming a global tourism hub. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman leads the modernization drive, aiming to bolster the kingdom’s influence in the region through soft power.

The kingdom, home to the holy sites of Makkah and Medina, warmly welcomes pilgrims for Umrah and Hajj throughout the year. The introduction of applications like Nusuk has streamlined the issuance of permits for Umrah, showcasing the kingdom’s reliance on technology to facilitate religious travel.

After pandemic restrictions were lifted, Saudi Arabia witnessed a surge in the number of Hajj pilgrims, highlighting its commitment to hosting religious gatherings while prioritizing public health. Only fully vaccinated or immunized individuals between 18 and 65 years old, without chronic diseases, were allowed to participate in the Hajj season.

By embracing technological advancements like QR codes and e-visas, Saudi Arabia aims to revolutionize travel and tourism within its borders. The kingdom has also recently launched Riyadh Air, a new airline with ambitious plans to serve over 100 destinations worldwide by 2030.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia’s decision to eliminate visa stickers and adopt QR codes and e-visas is a forward-looking move that reflects its dedication to embracing innovation and becoming a global leader in the travel and tourism industry. With this step, the kingdom seeks to offer improved consular services, foster economic growth, and make itself more accessible and tourist-friendly to visitors from all corners of the world.

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