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PAK-SAUDI SERVICE

Saudi Arabia launches unified visa platform ‘KSA Visa’Breaking

December 20, 2023

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday the launch of a unified visa platform called ‘KSA Visa’ to facilitate visa application procedures. This is part of the government’s endeavor to attract more tourists over the coming years. Addressing the Digital Government Forum (DGF) in Riyadh on Tuesday, Assistant Minister for Executive Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abdulhadi Almansouri said that this platform is linked to more than 30 agencies, ministries, and the private sector, to facilitate procedures for obtaining various types of visas, including the Hajj visa or the visit visa for the purpose of Umrah or tourism as well as work visas.

GOV.SA platform will contribute to empowering more than 50 government agencies and private sectors through government visas and will automate the most important visa issuance procedures to improve the visitor experience. GOV.SA is a smart search engine that lets visitors know the available visas quickly. It is a unified reference for understanding the requirements for all types of visas and how to apply for them. The platform also includes an updated personal file for the visitor that facilitates visas and re-application for them later.

The Saudi move comes within the framework of its endeavor to increase the number of tourists, especially after launching many new tourist destinations, and raising its tourism target to 150 million visits annually by 2030. The launch of the new Saudi platform coincides with the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to launch a unified Gulf tourist visa, after a decision in this regard was approved by the Supreme Council of the GCC countries at the Doha Summit held in November. The summit had authorized the interior ministers of GCC to take the necessary measures to implement this new visa rules.

It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia has issued more than 18.6 million visas during the year 2023, and it reduced the duration for issuing digital visas to 60 seconds. The Kingdom also worked with 56 countries with regard to the visa digitization journey. According to the targets envisaged in the general budget of 2024, Saudi Arabia seeks to increase the volume of tourism spending to SR289 billion, as well as to achieve 88 million visitors, and more employment in the tourism sector.

It is noteworthy that the Digital Government Forum will witness the announcement of the results of measuring digital transformation in 2023. The Governor of the Digital Government Authority Ahmed Alsuwaiyan said earlier that in light of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is working to continue the digital transformation journey, by enabling all government agencies to raise the efficiency of digital services that contribute to improving the experience of beneficiaries and the quality of life, apart from increasing competitiveness.”

 Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)