RIYADH: The US will extend visa validity for Saudi citizens from five to 10 years starting Monday, Aug. 1.
“The people of the US and Saudi Arabia have a long and proud history of communication and exchange, both socially and commercially. Extending the term of the US visa for Saudi nationals is one of the most tangible ways to deepen people-to-people ties and increase mutual understanding between our two countries,” the US Embassy tweeted.
Top US diplomats in the Kingdom believe it will deepen ties between the two countries.
US Chargé d’Affaires Martina Strong, US Consul General in Jeddah Faris Asad and US Consul General in Dhahran David Edginton tweeted a joint video message on Sunday from the US Embassy in Riyadh’s Twitter account.
Strong said: “During the recent visit of President Biden, our two countries announced several important initiatives. One of these initiatives touches directly on one of our key priorities, the people-to-people ties. We had announced that as of Aug. 1 Saudi citizens traveling to the United States for business or tourism will be eligible to receive 10-year visas.
“We are so excited to share this good news with you and to be able to welcome many of you in the United States in the coming months and years,” added Strong.
The new visa information can be viewed on the US Mission’s Twitter account or website, she advised.
Asad said: “This increase in visa validity from five to 10 years is a product of decades of strong partnership between our countries, and it will further facilitate mutually beneficial business and tourist travel between our two nations.”
Edginton said: “This extended visa validity will strengthen person-to-person ties. US citizens will now also receive 10-year visas to visit the Kingdom. As a result, there will be more opportunities for our citizens to meet each other, to discover each other’s culture and to make enduring connections.”
Last month, the US announced it would be extending visit visas for Saudi nationals from five to 10 years. The announcement came a day after US President Joe Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia for a two-day official visit as part of his first Middle East tour as president, during which he met King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials.
In a statement, the US Mission stated that extending the validity of visit visas aims to facilitate tourism and business between both countries.
“Facilitating travel contributes to the prosperity of the economies of the Kingdom and the United States, boosts commercial partnerships and enhances mutual understanding between American and Saudi citizens,” the statement read.