A seven-fold hike in Visa fees to do business in Saudi Arabia has taken everybody by storm. The step taken has deterred the risk of foreign investment needed to transform its oil-dependent economy.
Senior Saudi Business leader has discharged such concerns and said; country’s most sought-after business partners can easily afford new charges.
a Riyadh-based diplomat said “It’s incredibly short-sighted…They’re obviously bleeding and they want to put the cost on foreigners as much as they can” he added, “It’ll end up costing them a lot more than what they gain in visa payments.”
The strategy of High Visa fees is one of the moves adopted by Kingdom to cover a loss in oil revenues which declined by 68% in past five years.
A Western envoy said, “We are expecting to see business reconsider Saudi as a market, It’s certainly happening already,” though not in a major way.
A six months business or work visit visa for multiple entries will cost 3000 riyals, which was 400 riyals earlier, whereas single entry visas are now priced 2000 riyals.
The changes do not apply to the European Union or The United States, while fees for British nationals have only slightly increased.
An oil industry source called the new tariffs “crazy” and a “complete mistake”.