All visas issued by Saudi Arabia will be subject to the new fee increases announced on Monday by the cabinet, an official from the Saudi foreign ministry has said.
The fee increases apply to work, visit, residency, Umrah and pilgrimage visas and the only exceptions are covered in bilateral agreements between the Saudi kingdom and other countries, the deputy undersecretary for consular affairs at the foreign ministry, Tameem Al Dosari, said in remarks published by Saudi daily Okaz on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia will bear the visa fees only for those who perform Umrah or pilgrimage for the first time, he added.
Saudi Arabia is home to around nine million foreigners who make up one-third of its total population. All foreigners are required to apply for visas to enter the kingdom for work or visit or to perform Umrah or pilgrimage.
The Saudi cabinet raised the fees for visas in a bid to boost its cash revenues.
The cabinet, holding its regular weekly session, approved proposals by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy and Planning to increase revenues from non-oil sectors.
Under the proposal, the one-time entry visa fee was increased to 2,000 Saudi Riyals (Dh1,958). However, the fees for foreigners who apply for the first time to perform Umrah or pilgrimage will be borne by the state, the cabinet said.
A six-month multi-entry visa will cost 3,000 Saudi Riyals, while a 12-month visa will be Saudi Riyals 5,000 and a 24-month will be Saudi Riyals 8,000. A transit visa will cost Saudi Riyals 300.
Anyone leaving the kingdom through a seaport will have to pay Saudi Riyals 50.
Foreigners will pay Saudi Riyals 200 for a single trip abroad lasting less than two months, and Saudi Riyals 100 for each additional month within the validity of their residency permits.
A three-month multiple-entry visa of less than three months will mean a Saudi Riyals 500 fee and an additional Saudi Riyals 200 for every month within the validity of the residency permit.
The application of the new fees will begin at the beginning of the new Hijri year, corresponding to October 2.
Source: Gulf News