Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to invite Muslim friends from other countries to visit, perform Umrah

Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to invite Muslim friends from other countries to visit, perform Umrah

Personal visit visa applications can be made directly or online, Saudi Arabia says without elaborating about visa fees or start of new visa scheme

By Cagri Kosak

RIYADH (AA) – Saudi Arabian nationals will be able to invite their Muslim friends to the country under a “personal visit visa” that will allow them to perform Umrah and domestic visits, the country has announced.

Muslims who receive invitations from Saudi Arabian citizens will be able to apply for a “personal visit visa,” said Saudi Arabia's Hajj and Umrah Ministry in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

Personal visit visa applications can be made directly or online, and visas can be obtained for single entry or multiple entries, the ministry added.

While a single entry visa is valid for 90 days, a multiple entry visa is valid for one year, and a person with a multiple entry visa can stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days, it added.

Those who receive a personal visit visa will be able to perform Umrah rituals in Makkah as well as visit Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, or the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

The statement did not mention information on the start date and visa fees.

In 2016, Saudi Arabia opened historical and cultural sites to visitors in order to develop tourism as part of its 2030 vision.

Seeking to diversify the country's oil-based economy, Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of annual visitors to 100 million by 2030 and create one million jobs in this sector.

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