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Updated November 2022

Saudi Arabia has removed most of its travel restrictions earlier put in place to control the pandemic. Keeping in mind the aim of KSA’s Vision 2030 to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to gross domestic product to 10 percent, the Kingdom has announced a range of visa availing options for visitors worldwide. 

Here is all you need to know about the Saudi Arabia tourist visa including to whom it can currently be issued, the required documents and how to apply, along with the Kingdom’s general entry, testing and quarantine requirements.

Saudi Tourist Visa 2022 news & update

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a new visa scheme for GCC residents with the primary objective of boosting tourism.

According to the latest visa rules GCC residents now have the option to apply for an eVisa through the Visit Saudi online portal, which enables them to visit Saudi for both Umrah and tourism purposes.

Hence, the visitors flying to Saudi Arabia are no longer required to go through the hassle of visiting an embassy in person to apply for a visa, making the visa application process simple and more straightforward.

Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Saudi eVisa, GCC residents must meet the following conditions:

  • The GCC resident’s occupation must be among the eligible occupations listed on the online portal.
  • The residency document must be valid for three (3) months.
  • The passport must be valid for at least six (6) months
  • A parent application is mandatory for children under the age of 18.

Application process

To apply for the Saudi eVisa, GCC residents need to follow the steps given below:

  • Visit the MOFA website and log in to your account.
  • Fill out the required information.
  • Upload the required eVisa documents

Once approved, you will receive your Saudi eVisa via email.

What is a Saudi Tourist Visa?

The Saudi Tourist Visa (Saudi e-Visa) is an entry authorization document allowing foreign nationals to enter Saudi Arabia for non-essential and non-religious purposes. 

The Saudi Tourist Visa is a one-year, multiple-entry electronic visa, allowing tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country. It covers tourism-related activities and Umrah (excluding Hajj season) and excludes other activities such as studying. The tourist visa is available as e-visa, visa-on-arrival and consulate visa. 

Who can apply for a Saudi Tourist Visa?

Tourist e-visa

You can apply for eVisa if you are from one of the below countries:

North America: Canada, US.

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

Asia: Brunei, China (Including Hong Kong And Macau), Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea.

Oceania: Australia, New Zealand.

For GCC residents: eVisa is only permitted to GCC residents with certain requirements, as mentioned above.  

Visa on arrival 

You can get a 12-month tourism visa on arrival in Saudi without needing to apply in advance. Available for countries eligible for an eVisa as well as US, UK or EU permenant residants and US, UK or Schengen visa holders if the below conditions apply to them.

  • US, UK or Schengen visa must be valid and had been used at least once and has an entry stamp from the issuing country.
  • US, UK or Schengen visa must be either business or tourist visa. 

Visa through embassies 

If you do not meet the above requirements, then get your visa through your nearest Saudi embassy.

The below documents are required to obtain the visa through embassies:

  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Return ticket.
  • Proof of employment.
  • Financial solvency/Bank statement.
  • Flight itinerary.
  • Complete personal information; home address.

 

Saudi Tourist Visa eligibility and requirements

For e-visa and visa on arrival

Residents of the UK, US, and EU can apply for a Visa on Arrival in the Kingdom. Holders of a valid tourist or business visa from the UK, US or one of the Schengen Agreement countries will be eligible to apply for a Visa on Arrival, provided that it has at least been used once to enter the county granting the visa.

Countries with bilateral agreements can apply for the visit visa through e-Visa or visa-on-arrival, or through the consulate visa (USA, UK, South Korea and Japan).

  • The minimum age of applicants is 18 years old.
  • Underaged applicants require an individual above 18 years old to act as their guardian.
  • When applying, the passport validity must suffice for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia. (For citizens of the USA, an extended validity of 6 months after the passport expiry date is permissible for application)
     
  • A refund in case of rejection is not possible. Visa fees are non-refundable
  • Overstay fees: SAR100 for each day of overstay when the visa expires without leaving Saudi Arabia.
  • The religion of the applicant is not relevant.

All applicants must have a passport whose validity must suffice for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia. Documents not required to obtain this visa are:

  • Return ticket;
  • Booking accommodation (only address is required);
  • A hard copy of the visa, although a soft copy is advised.

Time taken to issue an e-Visa is 5-30 minutes in most cases. Visa eligibility pre-checks are conducted by all airlines before boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.

For embassy visa

  • The minimum age of applicants is 18 years old.
  • Underaged applicants require an individual above 18 years old to be the guardian.
  • When applying, the passport validity must suffice for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia.
  • Refund in case of rejection is not possible, visa fees are non-refundable.
  • Overstay fees: SAR 100 for each day of overstay.
  • The religion of the applicant is not relevant.
  • A sponsor is not required for the visa application.

All applicants must have a passport whose validity must suffice for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia. Documents required include:

  • Proof of accommodation;
  • Return ticket;
  • Proof of employment;
  • Financial solvency/Bank statement;
  • Flight itinerary;
  • Complete personal information; home address. 

Time taken to issue the Visa is 1-2 business days in most cases. Visa pre-checks are conducted by all airlines before boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Tourist Visa application process

If you’re residing in one of the eligible countries listed above, you may apply for the Saudi Tourist Visa through the official online portal. After creating an e-visa account through this link:

  • Fill the application
  • Pay the Visa fee
  • Get your online Visa

If your country is not on the list contact the nearest Saudi Arabia Embassy, from where you can request a visa. Holders of US, UK, or Schengen visas can apply for the visa upon arrival.

How much does the Saudi Tourist Visa cost?

The visa fees for all visit visas, including e-visa, visa-on-arrival and consulate visa are SAR 300, and the cost of the new comprehensive medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment is SAR 180 including tax, bringing the total to SAR 480.

Saudi Tourist Visa validity

The validity of the visa depends on its type. A single entry visa allows you to stay for a total length of one month (30 days), while a multiple entry visa allows you to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to three months (90 days). A multiple entry visa is valid for a maximum of three months, regardless of whether you leave and re-enter the country during that period of time.

Saudi Tourist Visa extension

Saudi Arabia has declared that single-entry visit visas now have a three-month stay limit. Additionally, they prolong the period of stay for people with transit visas. Now, they are free to stay for up to 96 hours, and their stay is good for three months. For all purposes, single-entry visit visas will be subject to this change.

Currently, multiple-entry visas are valid for 90 days, whereas single-entry visas for family visits are only valid for 30 days.

In order to extend the validity of the applicant’s tourist visa:

  • The visa to be extended must be valid and remain valid for a week or less.
  • The visitor must not have any traffic violations.
  • The visitor must be in the Kingdom.
  • The visitor must have a valid passport.
  • Payment of extension fees.

Visa extension can be done online by following these simple steps:

  • Login to Absher platform.
  • Select (Passport Services) from the list of e-services.
  • (Choose the service (Visit Visa Extension.
  • Enter the required information and attachments.
  • Pay the fees of SAR 100. 
  • Submit your application.

What are Saudi Arabia’s entry requirements?

All COVID‑19 restrictions for travel to Saudi Arabia have been lifted. Passengers are no longer required to hold a COVID‑19 vaccination certificate or a COVID‑19 test result to enter the country. Quarantine restrictions have also been lifted.

Moreover, as stated by the Ministry of Interior, Saudi Arabia has now scrapped its mask mandate lifting most of the coronavirus-related restrictions including showing the health status on the Tawakkalna application. Wearing masks in closed places is not required in most cases.

It is also required for the facilities, activities, events and means of public transport that wish to continue applying higher levels of protection by wearing a mask for entry.

However, wearing masks is still a requirement for entry into the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and those places for which protocols are issued by the Public Health Authority (Weqaya).

These are the current requirements for entering Saudi Arabia as a tourist visa holder:

  • The passport must be valid for no less than six months from the date of entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (except for citizens of the United States of America, they may enter as long as the passport is valid, regardless of the validity)
  • The age should not be less than 18 years old. For those under 18 years old, the applicant is allowed to enter but requires the presence of a guardian. (First degree: father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather and grandmother)
  • Having insurance that covers the costs of treatment from infection with COVID-19 during the period of stay in the Kingdom (included in the tourist visa).
  • It’s not required to provide a negative result for an approved PCR test or an approved Rapid Antigen Test before coming to the Kingdom.
  • Passengers travelling to Saudi Arabia must download and register on the Tawakkalna app on arrival.

Registration of arrival and registration of vaccinations is not required to enter the Kingdom, and fully vaccinated individuals can register their vaccine details through the Muqeem web portal.

Vaccination criteria

Vaccination is no longer mandatory for those looking to enter Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has also stated that immunization and health verification are NO longer required on the Tawakkalna application to enter facilities, activities, and events as well as for boarding planes and public transport vehicles.

However, the requirement will still be in place for those whose nature requires immunization or to continue verifying health status according to the general health requirements set by the Public Health Authority.

Testing and quarantine requirements

International arrivals to the Kingdom are no longer required to present a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test result on arrival. All quarantine measures have been done away with. 

Requirements for Umrah pilgrims

While Saudi Arabia has lifted most COVID-19-related restrictions, pilgrims looking to perform the Umrah are required to present proof of vaccination upon their arrival at the Kingdom.

The approved vaccines are:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Janssen
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca

For holders of Umrah visas vaccinated with vaccines other than the ones mentioned above, quarantine may be mandatory.

Source: وزارة الحج والعمرة – الأسئلة الشائعة (haj.gov.sa) 

All foreign pilgrims are now allowed to enter Saudi Arabia for Umrah without having to provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result. However, all pilgrims arriving on visit visas must have medical insurance to cover any COVID-19-related treatment costs during their stay.

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