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Saudi Arabia introduces e-visa for Bangladesh

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Dhaka: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday introduced e-visa, eliminating visa stickers for work, visits, and transit and chose Bangladesh as the first country to implement the new initiatives.

“We choose Bangladesh as the first country to implement the new technology,” Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yousef Essa Alduhailan said while making the announcement at the Embassy here this afternoon.

From today, Bangladeshi nationals don’t need to get sticker visa of any category including work visa for travelling the oil-rich Kingdom that hosts more than two million Bangladeshis expatriate workers.

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

He said the Saudi government spends huge amount of money to issue sticker visas while printing of such sticker 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 and adding that his country is keen work with Bangladesh for betterment of the expatiate Bangladeshi workers.

Earlier, the Saudi Arabia had introduced the e-visa facilities only for Umrah visa.

The ambassador said the introduction of e-visa will help the embassy here to manage huge number of visa applications as currently the Saudi mission here issues 7000 to 8000 visa daily.

The Saudi government has plans to introduce a similar e-visa system in other countries eventually.

Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) Director General Shahidul Alam also spoke on the occasion.

Saudi Arabia continues to be the favorite destination for Bangladeshi migrant workers while Nearly 100,000 Bangladeshis migrated to the Arab nation in the last quarter of 2022 alone, according to a recent report of Bangladesh Bank.

Saudi Arabia was the second-biggest source of remittances to Bangladesh in the fourth quarter last year, just behind the US, as workers brought in about $910 million from the Kingdom during the period, the central bank report showed.

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