Singapore Simplifies Visa Rules for Saudis

RIYADH – Singapore has announced to simplify visa procedure for Saudi nationals under which all Saudi citizens holding diplomatic passports will not require visas to visit Singapore with effect from yesterday. Though, all other types of Saudi passport holders will still be required to obtain appropriate visas for entry, but they have also been assured of a simplified and timely processing system of visa applications.

“The rule to allow Saudi diplomatic passport holders to enter into Singapore has been put in place, and it is indeed a welcome move,” confirmed an official of the Singapore Embassy here yesterday. He said that “the local Singapore mission with the help of the concerned government agencies of Singapore has been working to ease the visa procedure further for general citizens.”

According to Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, the changes to the visa requirements are part of its ongoing review to facilitate the entry and stay of bona fide visitors. Singapore is also working on a plan to offer a convenient automated clearance card to frequent travelers to Singapore from Saudi Arabia. The move to simplify the visa procedure is significant keeping in view the growing political and commercial relations between the two countries.

On commercial front, the two countries have already forged closer ties and the two-way relations have been consistently growing. The two countries also signed four major agreements including an accord for holding political consultations and an investment protection treaty during the visit of Crown Prince Sultan to Singapore in April last year. Saudi Arabia and Singapore have also evinced keen interest to increase their cooperation in many other sectors especially in the field of higher education.

In fact, the Kingdom has already announced its intention to send some 500 students to that Southeast Asian nation for higher studies every year. The two countries will further forge closer cooperation within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which has launched negotiations with Singapore for a free trade agreement.

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