In October 2019, Saudi Arabia has officially opened its doors to tourists from all over the world who are interested in visiting the kingdom for more than religious reasons. Visas were previously restricted to expatriates and business people working in the country, and for Muslims traveling to the kingdom for the Hajj (pilgrimage). Now with the Saudi Tourist Visa, visitors will have the chance to discover and experience the warm hospitality of the Saudi people, the rich heritage, the vibrant culture, and Saudi Arabia’s diverse and breathtaking landscapes.

The new eVisa program allows people from 49 countries to enter the country for tourism, and stay as long as three months. Here’s to mention that the visa program is an aspect of an economic reform plan introduced by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, to lower the kingdom’s dependence on oil. It’s expected that this turning point will create one million new jobs for the country by 2030.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the most important points you need to know about Saudi tourist visa and most asked questions about this topic. So let’s get started!

You can also read:

Visit Saudi Arabia: Your Guide to an Unforgettable Tour in The Kingdom

Which countries are part of the visa program?

The program allows people from 49 countries including the United States, Canada, most European countries, and China to travel to the kingdom by applying for a visa ahead of their visit or when they arrive in the country.

People from countries that are not included in the visa program are encouraged on the visa application website to contact the Saudi embassy or consulate closest to them.

How do I get a visa?

People from the 49 countries included in the program who are over 18 can go to https://visa.visitsaudi.com and register and apply for a visa. They can apply online before the trip or at a kiosk upon arriving in Saudi Arabia. All procedures are completed in just half an hour. The visa fee is 440 Saudi riyals ($117) and includes a health insurance fee. Applicants under 18 must apply with an adult guardian.

How long is the visa valid?

People with a single entry visa are allowed to stay in the kingdom for a month and those with multiple entry visas are allowed to stay for up to three months.

Can I use a Saudi tourist visa for religious reasons?

Saudi Arabia is one of the most sacred areas in the world for Muslims. Religious visitors are welcome to apply for the Saudi tourist eVisa to enter the country. This means that the eVisa can be used to perform the Umrah, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims can undertake at any time during the year outside the Hajj period.

But those who wish to travel to Mecca during the Hajj must apply for the specific visa.

Saudi Tourist Visa Upon Arrival

Applicants applying for visas upon arrival should take note of the following ports of entry where visas may be issued:

  • King Khalid International Airport (Riyadh)
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (Jeddah)
  • King Fahad International Airport (Dammam)
  • Prince Mohammed bin Abdul-Aziz International Airport (Madinah)
  • King Fahad Causeway
  • Al Bathaa Land Port

Nationals of the following countries (Group 1) may obtain an online eVisa through the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage website, or upon arrival at any of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ports of entry, and those countries are

America

  • Canada, United States

Asia

  • Brunei, China (Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau), Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan

Australia

  • Australia, New Zealand

Europe

  • Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom

 

Note: US or UK visa holders and Schengen visa holders from (Group 2) may get their visas upon arrival at the Saudi port of entry, provided their US or UK visa or Schengen visa has been used at least once.

Nationals of all other countries may obtain a visa for the purpose of tourism at any of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s missions abroad provided they obtain the following documents:

  • Duly filled application form
  • Passport valid for at least six months
  • Health insurance must be purchased from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Options for local health insurance providers will appear upon processing your Enjaz form
  • Proof of accommodation (hotel, residence, etc.) for the applicant’s duration of stay in Saudi Arabia
  • Visa fees (SAR 300) and insurance (SAR 140). The amount in SAR is equivalent to $117 dollars. The visa is valid for up to one full year (365 days) with a maximum 90-day duration of stay at one time and multiple entries.
  • Applicants must be 18+ unless accompanied by a legal guardian
  • Roundtrip ticket and travel itinerary
  • Proof of employment
  • Financial solvency/bank statement
  • Complete personal information, including the applicant’s home address in his country of residence

Important Notes about Saudi Tourist Visa

Applicants should note the following:

  • Visa fees are non-refundable in the event of rejection
  • Errors in the information provided by the applicant may be corrected through the website, not the embassy
  • Applicants planning to acquire visas at Saudi ports of entry should ensure they carry international credit cards usable outside their home country
  • Visas at ports of entry may only be granted to citizens of countries in Group 1.
  • You May Also Apply For the Visa by applying in person at the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or through the Embassy’s authorized travel agencies.
  • For non-muslims: The Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa is granted for tourism purposes ONLY. Visitors are forbidden from visiting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
  • For Muslims: pilgrims may travel for Umrah on a tourist eVisa outside of Hajj season ONLY.

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