Saudis to get 10-year US visit visas after President Joe Biden's tour

From August 1, the US will double the length of visas for Saudi citizens travelling to America

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Citizens of Saudi Arabia will soon be able to obtain 10-year US visit visas, under an agreement reached during President Joe Biden’s visit to the kingdom.

The US embassy in Riyadh announced on Saturday that the agreement will extend the validity of visitor visas for Saudi citizens from five years to a decade, starting from August 1.

Travel contributes significantly to both countries’ economies and strengthens ties between citizens, authorities said.

In 2019 alone, before the pandemic affected international travel, more than 150,000 Saudi citizens visited the US.

The extended visas come after the US also issued a visa interview waiver earlier this year, which means Saudi citizens aged over 50 are exempt from attending interviews in person to renew tourist visas to the US.

It also comes as the UK has removed visa requirements for a number of Gulf states and plans to remove all requirements for citizens of GCC states by 2023, meaning they can visit UK without first applying for a visa.

Mr Biden is on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia that began on Friday with a meeting with King Salman.

The two countries signed several agreements and discussed energy and food security, and economic co-operation.

That was followed by a highly watched face-to-face meeting with the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Updated: July 16, 2022, 2:32 PM