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Saudi Arabia Amends Visa Fees to Diversify Economy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Men walk pass an automated teller machine (ATM) outside Bank Al Bilad in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet decided on Monday to regulate entry and exit visa fees within efforts to diversify economic resources in the country.

With the adoption of the new regulations, the Kingdom aims at encouraging the foreign labor force to spend more time in the country, which would decrease the outflow of money through international transfers.

According to recent figures published by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the number of foreign workers in the Saudi private sector reached 8.9 million persons at the end of 2015.

The new amendments to visa fees, which were approved during Cabinet’s session on Monday, would increase the levels of economic activities in the country and boost the efficiency of the private sector.

Such step falls within Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy, away from the oil-based industry.

In this context, the Saudi cabinet fixed the fee for a two-month single entry visa at SR2000. An additional SR100 should be paid for every extra month.

As for the multiple entry visas, the fee was set at SR3000 for a six-month visa; SR5000 for a one-year visa, and SR8000 for a two-year visa.

The state will cover visa fees for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims for a single time.

As for the transit visa fee, it was set at SR300, while the departure visa fee was set at SR50 for those who leave the Kingdom through seaports.