In May, the country announced that it would be rolling out new digital initiatives of this nature.
Last May, Saudi Arabia announced that it would be launching a number of digital initiatives such as using QR codes instead of the conventional passport visa sticker for several countries.
That said, for the remainder of countries, Saudi Arabia has also issued an updated sticker.
The update to the sticker has already started appearing. And for 12 countries, the visa stickers have been discontinued altogether and have been replaced by QR codes instead. Civil aviation officials have been slowly implementing a recent decision to eliminate the use of visa stamps for visitors to the nation from a dozen other countries.
The General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) issued a notice to all airlines traveling to and from the country on the approval of the removal of the stickers for visit, employment, and resident visas granted by Saudi diplomatic missions in a number of countries.
That said, the program has now launched, and it is replacing the sticker that used to be on the passport. Instead, an e-visa will perform the same role.
The e-visa and all the data it contains can be viewed by scanning the QR codes that represent it.
The barcodes and e-visas are applicable to the 12 countries that were listed within the implementation plan. Each of those countries has its own date and timetable for the rollout of the e-visas.
The SPA Saudi news agency, this change in travel documents is a component of the ministry’s effort to automate and enhance the procedures of the consular services. It focuses on residence, employment and visit visas. The timetable describes the implementation plan for a dozen countries. So far, it looks as though the barcodes will be exclusive to those twelve countries. It is unclear if there are plans to expand the program to other countries at a later date.
The twelve countries with the QR codes instead of stickers are Pakistan (July 24), Yemen (July 26), Sudan (August 2), Uganda (August 7), Lebanon (August 9), Nepal (August 14), Turkiye (August 16), Sri Lanka (August 21), Kenya (August 23), Morocco (August 28), Thailand (August 30), and Vietnam (September 4).