E-visa service makes it easier than ever for Saudis to visit India

A plane is seen at the taxiway after landing at Kochi's International airport in the Indian state of Kerala on August 29, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 26 January 2020

E-visa service makes it easier than ever for Saudis to visit India

  • The cost of a one-year, multiple-entry tourist visa was reduced from $80 to $40, while a five year, multiple entry tourist visa costs $80

RIYADH: The introduction last year of an online “e-visa” service for Saudi nationals who want to visit India was an important development in the growing relationship between the nations.
The system, announced during a state visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India in February last year, was launched on June 17.
It allows Saudi citizens to apply online for tourist, business, medical and conference visas. In addition, fees were reduced and longer-term visas were introduced.
A short duration, one-month visa for tourists, with double entry, costs $10 between April and June and $25 the rest of the year. The cost of a one-year, multiple-entry tourist visa was reduced from $80 to $40, while a five year, multiple entry tourist visa costs $80.
The other types of e-visa available to Saudi nationals, all of which cost $80, are: Business visa (valid for a year, multiple entry), conference visa (valid for 30 days, single entry), and medical visa and medical attendant visa (both of which are valid for 60 days, triple entry).

BACKGROUND

In addition to the e-visa system, traditional paper visas are still available from the Indian Embassy, and the time taken to process them for Saudi nationals has been reduced to two working days.

For more information about e-visas for Saudi citizens, and to apply for one, visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. Applications must be made at least four days before the planned date of travel.
In addition to the e-visa system, traditional paper visas are still available from the Indian Embassy, and the time taken to process them for Saudi nationals has been reduced to two working days. Last year, 19,116 e-visas and 18,598 paper visas were issued to Saudis.


US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

Updated 17 min 45 sec ago

US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

  • There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia, the administration told Arab News

RIYADH: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied that it banned the import of dates from Saudi Arabia, following media reports that it had done so earlier this week.

“There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia,” the administration told Arab News. The Saudi National Center for Palms & Dates (NCPD) also denied the reports.

The NCPD pointed out that reports published mentioned the finding of pesticide residues in date samples from a Saudi company dating back to 2009.

In a statement on Sunday, the NCPD said that the US FDA published on its website a list of all the companies “classified by country” which did not meet US standards.

It added that the FDA required companies to update their information with it as and when that changed.

Bashar Al-Quraya, deputy chairman of the Dates Committee of Al-Qassim Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News that the information did not come from reliable sources. “We did not see any real official statements,” he said.

The center stressed that they work with the relevant authorities to raise the level of date safety in general for products sold in local or export markets.

“Saudi Arabia is considered number one in date quality,” Al-Quraya said, adding that when they export dates to Germany and the UK, the entry procedures go very smoothly. “There are no problems and the procedures are very simple and clear.”

Al-Quraya also pointed out that for the last two months of growth before harvesting the crop, no pesticides are sprayed on Saudi dates, and the exported fruits are subjected to tests before shipping.

“The rumors did not affect the market. I am now at the food fair in Dubai, there is a great demand for Saudi dates from European countries,” he said.

“If there was a problem with our dates the news should come from the UK or Germany, as the number of dates we export (there) are much bigger than what we export to the US,” he added.