ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan foreign office has hailed a new reduction in Saudi visit visa fees as a generous move by the crown prince in a tweet by the Foreign Office spokesperson on Sunday, just ahead of the Saudi royal’s arrival in the capital today.“On Prime Minister IK's initiative, suggesting reduction in Saudi Visa Fee for Pakistani Workers, Crown Prince MBS has generously lowered the fee,” spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal wrote on Twitter.
The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad announced in a statement on Friday that non-pilgrimage visit visa fees for single entry would be lowered from SR2,000 ($533) to SR338 ($90) while the fee for multiple entry visas would be reduced from SR3,000 ($800) to SR675 ($180).
According to the statement, the new fee structure will came into effect from February 15.
Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting, Senator Faisal Javed also welcomed the move on Twitter.
“Great News: Saudi Embassy announces to reduce Visa Fee for Pakistanis as one of the world's most beautiful Capital is ready to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman,” he wrote in a tweet on Saturday.
During his stay, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign off on a number of investment agreements worth over $10 billion, and MoU’s in diverse sectors.
In December last year, Pakistan slashed its own visa fees for Saudi nationals, reducing the cost of single entry visas to SR270 ($72), and multiple entry fees to SR540 ($144).
With an estimated 2.7 million Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia, the reduction in visa fees is likely to benefit hundreds of thousands of Pakistani workers and laborers to bring their family members in on visit visas, and to promote trade and investment between the two countries.