By Ugo Aliogo
A visa service provider for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VFS TasHeel, has announced that it has launched tourist visa services at its centres across 30 countries.
According to a statement by the Media Relations Manager of the company, Omar Abd Raboo, applicants would also be able to travel for Umrah on a tourist visa, but not during the Hajj season.
The statement also explained that with Saudi Arabia’s new visa policy, nationals of UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Maldives, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan can apply for a tourist visa.
The statement added: “The visa process is open to applicants from all nationalities, except the 49 that are eligible for a visa on arrival or e-visa.”
The statement further noted: “Acting as a trusted service provider between visa applicants and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, VFS TasHeel’s visa services centres, spanning Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe, provide full array of visa services including, dissemination of accurate visa information, application guidance, fee management, identity management with biometrics enrollment and application submission for all available visa categories. Biometric enrollment includes highly secure collection of fingerprints, facial image and biographic details, such as passport information.”
The statement said the company started serving customers under the new type of Tourist Visa in most of its countries of operations.
Raboo in the statement said: “The increasing openness of international markets brings immense opportunities to the tourism sector – and Saudi Arabia’s new policies acknowledge that tourism has an important role to play in the kingdom’s social and economic development. In support of the government’s initiatives, we are pleased to offer tourist visa services in 30 countries, and make the entire process more seamless and convenient for potential leisure travellers and pilgrims for Umrah.”