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Saudi Arabia's new visa fee structure targets religious tourists
October 3, 2016, 5:04 pm
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Saudi Arabian authorities have finalised the details of a revised visa regime that ramps up fees from Sunday, local media has reported. The new regime introduces visa fees for religious tourists for the first time, in a move intended to help boost non-oil revenues in the kingdom.

First-time pilgrims are exempt from paying fees, local media reported, but second-time and subsequent visits incur a cost of SR2,000 ($533) fee for a single-entry visa. Business travel visas also incur a SR2,000 fee for the first time.

For all other visitors, visa fees have been increased. A multiple-entry visa now costs SR3,000 ($799) for six months, SR5,000 for a year and SR8,000 for two years. This compares with a SR515 ($137) fee for multiple-entry visa for travellers from the UAE.

GCC nationals are excluded from all visa fees, however, expats with a residency permit in Saudi Arabia must obtain exit and re-entry permits for travel to and from the kingdom.

The revised exit and re-entry visa fee for residents is SR200 ($53) for a single trip for two months, and a further SR100 ($26.6) for each additional month. Exit and re-entry visa fee for multiple trips is SR500 ($133) for three months, plus SR200 for each additional month. The transit visa fee has been fixed at SR300 ($79.9), and the exit visa fee for anyone leaving the kingdom through sea ports will be SR50 ($13).

The General Directorate of Passports announced the new visa regime in August. The changes take effect on Sunday.

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