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Updated January 2023

Saudi Arabia is currently open for tourism, and international travel to or from the Kingdom has been largely restored. For those wishing to visit Saudi Arabia, visas will once again be issued by the authorities to accommodate the various needs of various travellers.

For UK residents intending to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, here is everything you need to know.

Do UK residents need a visa to visit Saudi Arabia?

Yes, UK residents visiting Saudi Arabia are required to obtain a Saudi visa to be eligible for entry into the Kingdom.

Moreover, the UK is one of the eligible countries for the Saudi tourist e-Visa, and hence travellers from the UK visiting Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes can apply for the e-Visa online without having to visit an Embassy.

However, travellers visiting the Kingdom for any other purpose or for a longer period of time than is allowed in the e-Visa should apply for a visa through visa agencies accredited to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

Alternatively, UK residents are also eligible to get a Saudi visa on arrival upon arrival in the Kingdom.

Book cheap flights from UK to Saudi Arabia

 

Available Saudi visas for UK residents

Tourist visa/eVisa

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 the Hajj season) and excludes other activities such as studying. The tourist visa is available as e-visa, visa-on-arrival and consulate visa.

Requirements

The following are some of the requirements to apply for the Saudi tourist e-Visa:

  • the minimum age of applicants is 18 years old
  • underaged applicants require an individual above 18 years old to act as their guardian
  • a refund in case of rejection is not possible. Visa fees are non-refundable
  • overstay fees: SAR 100 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

Application process

UK residents intending to visit Saudi Arabia can apply for the Saudi tourist e-Visa, through the official Visit Saudi online portal, by following the steps given below:

  • create an e-visa account from the official Visit Saudi online portal
  • fill out the online application
  • pay the required e-Visa fee
  • you will receive your online e-Visa via email

For more details regarding the Saudi tourist e-Visa, visit our article on Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa 2022: How to Apply For eVisa to Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa 2022: How to Apply For eVisa to Saudi Arabia?

Visa on arrival

UK residents are eligible to apply for a tourist visa on arrival in Saudi without needing to apply in advance. The visa on arrival is available for UK permanent residents and the US, UK or Schengen visa holders, provided they meet the following conditions:

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

For more details regarding the Saudi visa on arrival, visit our article on Saudi Visa on Arrival 2022: Which Countries Are Eligible For Visa on Arrival in KSA?

Saudi Visa on Arrival 2022: Which Countries Are Eligible For Visa on Arrival in KSA?

Business visa

Travellers looking to enter the Kingdom for business purposes may apply for a Saudi business visa on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) website. Among the required documents are the following:

  • a valid passport (with blank pages)
  • passport photographs
  • completed application form
  • a letter of invitation from the sponsor company in Saudi Arabia that is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • a letter from your employer confirming your employment and upcoming trip
  • any other required documents depending on the applicant’s country of origin

Religious visa

Religious visas accommodate Muslims around the world looking to embark on the pilgrims of Umrah and Hajj. These visas allow foreign pilgrims access to the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah. For both Umrah and Hajj, travellers may contact the nearest Saudi consulate but are encouraged to appoint a licensed travel agent to assist them in arranging their pilgrimage.

Umrah visa

An Umrah visa is an official document designed to facilitate Muslims wishing to embark on Makkah on a minor pilgrimage known as the Umrah.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah recently announced recently that pilgrims coming from the UK can now register for a visa by submitting their facial and fingerprint details through a smartphone app called the Saudi Visa Bio app. Procedures for issuing Umrah visas electronically will be completed based on biometric details before a pilgrim’s arrival in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

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

Please note that UK residents can also perform Umrah on a Saudi tourist e-Visa as mentioned above.

Hajj visa

Please note that Hajj visas are only being issued from Mid-Shawwal until the 25th Dhual-Qa’dah of each year. You can refer to our dedicated Hajj visa article below.

Hajj Visa 2023: How to Apply for Visa to Perform the Pilgrimage?

Transit visa

The transit visa allows individuals to pass through the Kingdom and is applicable for short stays of over 12 hours, providing transit visas. It is available to applicants of any nationality, and it can be obtained by using the MOFA e-service visa platform.

Requirements

  • a valid original passport of a minimum of six months
  • a residence permit from the country you are applying from
  • a passport-sized coloured photograph
  • a Saudi Visa (فيزا السعودية) questionnaire filled out and signed
  • the declaration of Saudi laws was signed
  • proof of ticket booking confirming your stay-over in Saudi Arabia
  • printed visa application submitted through the e-portal

How to apply for a Saudi visa for UK residents?

Online application process

UK residents intending to visit Saudi Arabia can apply for the Saudi tourist e-Visa, through the official Visit Saudi online portal, by following the steps given below:

  • create an e-visa account from the official Visit Saudi online portal.
  • fill out the online application
  • pay the required e-Visa fee
  • you will receive your online e-Visa via email

Offline application process

If you are unable to apply for the visa online, or if you are visiting the Kingdom for any other purpose or for a longer period of time, you should apply for a visa through visa agencies accredited by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

The following requirements must be met before submitting your visa application to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the UK:

  • all applicants are required to submit one passport-sized photograph.
  • all applicants’ passports must contain two blank pages facing each other.
  • passports must be valid for at least six (6) months.

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