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Saudi Arabia introduces 96-hour stop visa for Indians:- As part of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative to enhance Umrah visits, Saudi Arabia has introduced a new stopover visa for Indians traveling to the West or the Middle East. The announcement was made by Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq bin Fawzan, during a joint press briefing with India's Minister of Minority Affairs, Smriti Irani, and Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan. Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan emphasized the country's commitment to facilitating the religious pilgrimage of Muslims worldwide. He explained that Indians traveling to the West or the Middle East can now obtain a 96-hour stopover visa as part of the ticket issuance process, allowing them to perform Umrah and explore any city in Saudi Arabia.
The Umrah Visa, which is valid for 90 days, offers holders the opportunity to reside and travel within the country, ensuring a seamless and convenient pilgrimage experience. Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan also highlighted the Kingdom's dedication to improving Umrah by embracing technological advancements and upgrading infrastructure. Furthermore, individuals interested in performing Umrah can now receive a Kingdom entry visa within 48 hours. Indian travelers can utilize their work, tourism, or Umrah visas to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia.
The objective of the acquisition process is to improve the ease of access for Umrah pilgrims. The joint endeavors of India and Saudi Arabia have produced noteworthy outcomes, as the count of Umrah pilgrims from India exceeded 1.2 million in 2023, demonstrating a 74% growth compared to the previous year.