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Updated May 2024

In line with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to boost the tourism sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 10 percent, the Kingdom has introduced various visa options for global visitors to avail.

Read on as Wego dives into everything you need to know while applying for a Saudi Tourist Visa.

Saudi tourist visa 2024 news & updates

Saudi Arabia new e-visa program

Saudi Arabia has expanded its electronic visa (E-visa) program to include citizens from Barbados, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and Grenada. This allows citizens of these countries to apply for visas online or obtain them upon arrival, increasing the total number of eligible countries to 66.

The move aligns with the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to boost global connectivity, diversify the economy, and achieve Vision 2030’s tourism goals, aiming to exceed a 10% GDP contribution and create one million jobs.

Additionally, the tourist visa has been extended to residents of the US, UK, EU, and GCC countries, facilitating various travel purposes, while transit visas for Saudia and Flynas Airlines allow a 96-hour stay in the Kingdom.

For more details on these visa reforms, consider going through our dedicated article below.

Nationals of Bahamas, Barbados, and Grenada Now Eligible to Apply for Saudi e-Visa

Saudi Arabia instant e-visa

The Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia has announced that people holding a tourism visa to the UK, US, and Schengen nations and permanent residents from any EU country will be eligible to receive an instant e-visa to the Gulf nation.

However, there is an exception wherein business or tourism visa holders for the UK, US, or EU country must have visited the respective place before applying for the new visa.

Close family members of those with the mentioned visas will also be allowed entry and can obtain a visa-on-arrival. Furthermore, It’s important to note that this instant e-visa does not permit applicants to perform Haj or Umrah during the pilgrimage season.

However, for those planning to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that they can obtain an e-visa or a visa on arrival, among the following options.

For more details on Saudi instant visa, consider going through our dedicated article on the topic.

Saudi Instant Visa: New Saudi E-visa Entry Permit for UK, US, and Schengen Visa Holders


What is a Saudi tourist visa?

The Saudi tourist visa, also known as the Saudi e-visa, allows foreign nationals entry into Saudi Arabia for non-essential and non-religious purposes. It is valid for one year with multiple entries, allowing tourists to stay for up to 90 days per visit. The visa covers tourism-related activities and Umrah (excluding Hajj season), but not studying. It can be obtained through e-visa, visa-on-arrival, or consulate visa options.

Saudi tourist visa types

Tourist e-visa

You can apply for the Saudi e-visa if you are from one of the following countries:

North AmericaCanada, US, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada.

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

Asia: Brunei, China (Including Hong Kong And Macau), Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Thailand.

Africa: South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles

Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

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

The following guidelines apply to the Saudi tourist visa:

  • the minimum age requirement for applicants is 18 years old
  • underaged applicants must have an individual above 18 years old acting as their guardian
  • when applying, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia. For US citizens, an extended validity of 6 months after the passport expiry date is acceptable for the application

Additional information regarding the visa:

  • refunds are not possible in case of rejection, as visa fees are non-refundable
  • overstay fees amount to SAR 100 per day when the visa expires without leaving Saudi Arabia

To obtain a Saudi tourist visa, all applicants must possess a passport with a validity of at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia. The following documents are not required for obtaining this visa:

  • return ticket
  • booking accommodation (only the address is required)
  • a hard copy of the visa, although it is advisable to have a soft copy available

The e-visa issuance typically takes 5-30 minutes in most cases. Prior to boarding flights to Saudi Arabia, airlines conduct visa eligibility pre-checks for all passengers.

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

  • 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

Visa on arrival 

A 12-month tourism visa can be obtained upon arrival in Saudi Arabia without the need for prior application. This option is available for countries eligible for an eVisa, as well as for permanent residents of the US, UK, or EU, and holders of US, UK, or Schengen visas, provided that the below conditions apply to them.

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

Residents of the UK, US, and EU can apply for a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia. Holders of a valid tourist or business visa from the UK, US, or any Schengen Agreement country are eligible for a visa on arrival, provided that the visa has been used once to enter the issuing country. Additionally, Umrah can be performed under this visa, allowing travelers to experience a spiritual journey during their visit.

Nationals of Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are also eligible for an e-visa on arrival at any of Saudi Arabia’s ports.

Visa through embassies 

If you do not meet the requirements mentioned above, you can obtain your visa through the nearest Saudi embassy. The eligibility for acquiring this visa is as follows:

  • 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
  • a sponsor is not required for the visa application.

To obtain the visa through embassies, the following documents are typically required:

  • proof of accommodation
  • return ticket
  • proof of employment
  • financial solvency/Bank statement
  • flight itinerary
  • complete personal information; home address

The visa-issuance process typically takes 1-2 business days in most cases. Prior to boarding flights to Saudi Arabia, airlines conduct visa pre-checks for all passengers.

Umrah using Saudi tourist visa

The Saudi tourist visa is a multiple-entry visa that can also be used for Umrah, which is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah that can be undertaken at any time of the year. Please note, however, that the Saudi tourist visa does not allow visitors to perform Umrah during the peak seasons of Ramadan and Hajj. Additionally, the Saudi tourist visa also allows visitors to explore other parts of Saudi Arabia, such as its historical, cultural and natural attractions. 

Umrah Visa: How to Apply For Visa to Perform the Pilgrimage?


How to apply for Saudi tourist visa?

Application process

If you are residing in one of the eligible countries mentioned above, you can apply for the Saudi Tourist Visa through the official online portal. To begin the process, create an e-visa account using the provided link. Follow these steps:

  • fill out the application form
  • make the payment for the visa fee
  • receive your online visa

However, if your country is not included in the eligible list, you should contact the nearest Saudi Arabia Embassy to request a visa. Holders of US, UK, or Schengen visas have the option to apply for the visa upon arrival.


The visa fees for all visit visas, including e-visa, visa-on-arrival, and consulate visas, amount to SAR 300. Additionally, the new comprehensive medical insurance costs SAR 180, inclusive of tax. The total cost, including the medical insurance, is SAR 480.

Validity and extension

The validity of the Saudi tourist visa varies based on its type. A single-entry visa allows a stay of up to one month (30 days), while a multiple-entry visa permits a stay of up to three months (90 days) in Saudi Arabia. The multiple-entry visa remains valid for a maximum of three months, irrespective of exits and re-entries during that period.

Additionally, recent updates to the visit visa policies have extended the stay duration for single-entry visas to three months, and transit visas now allow a maximum stay of 96 hours within a three-month validity period. Multiple-entry visas continue to be valid for 90 days, while single-entry visas for family visits have a validity of 30 days. These changes offer visitors increased flexibility when visiting Saudi Arabia.

Regarding visa extension, the following requirements must be met:

  • the visa to be extended should have a remaining validity of one week or less
  • the visitor must not have any traffic violations
  • the visitor must currently be in the Kingdom
  • a valid passport is required
  • payment of extension fees is necessary

To extend your visa, follow these straightforward steps online:

  • log in to the Absher platform
  • select “Passport Services” from the list of e-services
  • choose the “Visit Visa Extension” service
  • enter the necessary information and attach the required documents
  • complete the payment of SAR 100 fees
  • submit your application for processing

Ensure that you don’t exceed the duration of your visa or let it expire without renewing it. Saudi security agencies have issued a clear warning against any delay in reporting the departure of visit visa holders, as the kingdom intensifies efforts to combat illegal expatriates.

The Saudi General Directorate of Public Security has explicitly stated that individuals who procrastinate reporting the departure of invited visitors may face fines of up to SR50,000 or a maximum jail term of six months.


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