Saudi Arabia to Replace Visa Stickers with QR Codes for Pakistan and other Selected Countries

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >

Saudi Arabian authorities have recently made a significant announcement regarding their visa policies, revealing plans to eliminate visa stickers for several countries, including Pakistan. This decision is part of the kingdom’s ongoing efforts to modernize and streamline its visa system. Notably, this move has already been implemented for specific nations, but the fresh list of countries to benefit from this change now includes Sri Lanka, Kenya, and others.

According to the official timeline released by the authorities, the visa stickers will be abolished in a phased manner throughout 2023. The schedule is as follows:

– Pakistan: 24th July

– Yemen: 26th July

– Sudan: 2nd August

– Yugunda: 7th August

– Lebanon: 9th August

– Nepal: 14th August

– Turkiye: 16th August

– Sri Lanka: 21st August

– Kenya: 23rd August

– Morocco: 28th August

– Thailand: 30th August

– Vietnam: 4th September

The new regulation will see visa stickers replaced with a QR code, and e-visas will be issued to the listed countries. Initially, the change will affect employment (iqama) and visit visas. The aviation authorities in Saudi Arabia have already communicated these updates to airlines operating in the country.

In line with the transition to QR codes and e-visas, the visa information will be printed on a standard A4-sized paper for easy verification. The authorities emphasize that previously issued visas will remain valid, so passport holders need not be concerned about their existing documentation.

This move is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader initiative to enhance its visa system by incorporating more technology and offering improved consular services. The kingdom seeks to revolutionize travel and tourism within its borders and has recently launched a new airline named Riyadh Air, with ambitious plans to serve over 100 destinations worldwide by 2030. The modernization drive is under the guidance of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, who aims to bolster the kingdom’s influence in the region through soft power.

Saudi Arabia holds great religious significance for Muslims, being home to the holy sites of Makkah and Medina. The kingdom welcomes pilgrims throughout the year for Umrah and Hajj. In this regard, the introduction of applications like Nusuk has streamlined the issuance of permits for Umrah, with increasing reliance on technology to facilitate religious travelers.

It is worth noting that after the pandemic restrictions were lifted, Saudi Arabia saw a surge in the number of Hajj pilgrims, with approximately 2.3 million attendees in 2022. To ensure safety, only fully vaccinated or immunized individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 without chronic diseases were permitted to participate in the Hajj season. This successful event highlighted the kingdom’s commitment to hosting religious gatherings while prioritizing public health.

Saudi Arabia’s decision to scrap visa stickers for select countries and transition to QR codes and e-visas demonstrates its dedication to embracing technological advancements and enhancing its consular services. This move aligns with the country’s vision to become a global tourism hub and reflects its commitment to religious pilgrims visiting its sacred sites.

The move to eliminate visa stickers and adopt QR codes and e-visas also reflects Saudi Arabia’s commitment to enhancing border security and facilitating smoother travel procedures for international visitors. By leveraging modern technology, the kingdom aims to streamline the visa application process, reduce processing times, and ensure greater accuracy in verifying travelers’ information. 

This forward-looking approach aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader vision of becoming a more accessible and tourist-friendly destination, fostering economic growth and cultural exchange with the rest of the world. As the country continues to make progressive changes under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, it remains dedicated to embracing innovation and making Saudi Arabia a global leader in the travel and tourism industry.

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile