Saudi Arabia introduces e-visa, eliminating visa stickers

Prothom Alo

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced e-visa, eliminating visa stickers for work, visits, and transit, reports UNB.

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yousef Essa Alduhailan made the announcement at the embassy in Dhaka on Monday afternoon.  The Saudi government has plans to introduce a similar e-visa system in a few countries, he said.

"We choose Bangladesh as the first country to implement the new technology," said the Saudi ambassador while talking to journalists at the embassy.

With the decision, Bangladeshi nationals do not need to get a sticker visa of any category, including work visa for travelling to the oil-rich Kingdom. The KSA hosts more than two million Bangladeshi expatriate workers.

Introduction of error-free e-visa, using both Arabic and English language, will reduce hassle, cost and time to get Saudi visas, the envoy hopes.

The Saudi government spends a huge amount of money to issue sticker visas and printing of such stickers is a difficult task. "It will be a win-win situation for the intending Bangladeshi workers and other stakeholders, including the recruiting agencies," the ambassador said, adding that his country is keen to work with Bangladesh for betterment of the expatriate Bangladeshi workers.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had introduced e-visa facilities only for Umrah visa. The ambassador said the introduction of e-visa will help the embassy in Dhaka to manage a huge number of visa applications.

Currently the Saudi mission in Dhaka issues 7000 to 8000 visas per day. Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) director general Shahidul Alam also spoke on the occasion.