India has recently extended its electronic visa (eVisa) services to Saudi Arabian citizens, ushering in a new era of increased accessibility and convenience for potential travelers from the Gulf nation. By introducing this service, India eliminates the need for Saudi Arabians to visit an embassy or consulate, offering a more streamlined India visa application process.
Processing an eVisa application takes a mere 72 hours, making it an efficient alternative to traditional methods. These eVisas, valid for a year from the date of issue, grant a single-entry permission for stays up to 90 days.
Saudi Arabian citizens can now avail themselves of three distinct eVisa categories: tourist, business, and medical visas. These visas can be applied for from the comfort of one's home, offering an unparalleled level of convenience, according to India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ausaf Sayeed.
The extension of eVisa services underscores the growing camaraderie between India and Saudi Arabia. Over the past few years, significant strides have been made towards bolstering bilateral ties. The most notable of these include Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Riyadh in 2016 and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to New Delhi earlier this year.
The eVisa announcement originally surfaced in February, followed by an implementation period of a few months. During his Indian visit, Prince Mohammed identified investment opportunities worth over $100 billion in India within the coming two years.
The decision to include Saudi Arabia in the list of over 100 nations eligible for eVisa is part of India's efforts to stimulate tourism and cultivate international relationships. The Indian Government might expand this list further in the future.
To apply for an India eVisa, applicants must fill out the online India eVisa application form, providing details such as their name, address, date of birth, passport information, and travel plans. In addition, a copy of their passport and a payment for the visa fee using a credit or debit card are required.
It is essential to ensure accuracy while entering these details, as any discrepancy, no matter how minor, can result in application delays or complications. Nonetheless, most applications are processed smoothly, and approval is typically granted within 72 hours.
Successful applicants receive their approved eVisas via email. Upon arrival in India, they must present their eVisa and passport to immigration authorities.
Applicants must provide the following documents for the eVisa application:
For the passport-style photo, it's essential that the applicant's face is clearly visible, and the photo must be a recent one, taken within the last six months. This step ensures a smooth visa application process and encourages increased mutual tourism and business between the two nations.