Saudi Arabia Unveils ‘KSA Visa’ Initiative to Simplify Visa Applications. Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a new initiative named ‘KSA Visa,’ a unified platform designed to streamline the visa application process. The main goal is to simplify the application for various visa types, including those for Hajj, Umrah, tourism, and employment.
Abdulhadi Almansouri, the Assistant Minister for Executive Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this information during the Digital Government Forum (DGF) convened in Riyadh.
A key component of this initiative is the ‘GOV.SA’ platform, a smart search engine providing users with rapid access to information about available visas. It serves as a central hub for understanding the requirements for different visas and guides applicants through the application process. The platform also includes an updated personal file for visitors, making visa applications and reapplications more convenient.
This initiative aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader vision to boost tourism, especially following the launch of new tourist destinations. The country aims to attract 150 million annual visits by 2030. To achieve this, the KSA Visa platform connects over 30 government agencies, ministries, and private sector entities to automate and streamline visa issuance procedures.
The ‘GOV.SA’ platform is expected not only to enhance the efficiency of the visa application process but also to contribute to an improved overall visitor experience.
Saudi Arabia has been proactive in digitizing visa issuance, reducing the time for digital visas to be issued to just 60 seconds. In the year 2023, Saudi Arabia alone granted more than 18.6 million visas and engaged in collaborative efforts with 56 countries on the path of digitization.
The launch of the KSA Visa platform coincides with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) efforts to introduce a unified Gulf tourist visa, a decision approved during the November Doha Summit. This national initiative aligns with regional efforts to streamline visa processes and promote tourism.
Economically, Saudi Arabia aims to increase tourism spending to SR289 billion by 2024. The tourism sector is also expected to create more job opportunities, aligning with the broader objectives of Vision 2030.
The Digital Government Forum, where this announcement was made, serves as a platform to discuss and evaluate the progress of digital transformation initiatives in the country. According to Ahmed Alsuwaiyan, the Governor of the Digital Government Authority, this digital transformation journey is crucial for enhancing government service efficiency and improving citizens’ overall quality of life, in line with the goals of Vision 2030.