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).
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.