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Updated 2 November 2021

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.

Here is everything you need to know about Saudi visas; what types of available visas, which countries are eligible, as well as the prevailing restrictions.

Is Saudi Arabia open for tourism?

Saudi Arabia is currently open to fully vaccinated travellers with valid tourist visas. All arrivals must provide evidence of a full course COVID-19 vaccine regimen of one of the six approved vaccines:

  • Oxford/Astra Zeneca
  • Pfizer/BioNTech 
  • Moderna vaccines
  • Johnson and Johnson.

Travellers who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the Kingdom.

At present, Saudi Arabia is issuing tourist visas to travellers from 49 countries. However, a temporary suspension of entry into the Kingdom for travellers arriving from or passing through Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Vietnam is still in effect. This will not apply to Saudi citizens and their families and accompanying workers, diplomats, health practitioners, and their families.

In an attempt to tackle the effects and consequences of COVID-19, as well as mitigate its economic and financial effects, the Saudi government has extended the validity of visit visas of those people from countries facing a travel ban until November 30.

 

Types of Saudi visas available

For travellers travelling from eligible countries, the following visas are available.

Business visa

Travellers looking to enter the Kingdom for business purposes may apply for a Saudi business visa here. Among the required documents are:

  • 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. Please find the list of approved travel agents for Umrah and Hajj.

Umrah visa requirements

  • A completed original Umrah visa application form. 
  • One recent passport size colour photograph with a white background should be attached to the application form.
  • Passports should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of submission of the application form.
  • Confirmed and non-refundable airline ticket. Departure from Saudi Arabia should be within two weeks from the date of entry.
  • Women and children should be accompanied by a husband/father or a male relative (Mahram). Women aged 45 years old or older are allowed to go without a Mahram if travelling with an organized group or family.
  • A vaccination certificate against Meningococcal Meningitis should be attached. Please note that the current vaccination requirements also extend to the COVID-19 vaccination.

Umrah visa is provided free of charge but please note that applicants may be required to pay for other visa-related services. Please consult your official Umrah travel agent for the full details.

Note: The visa for Umrah in Ramadan cannot exceed the last day of Ramadan. Travellers are required to leave Saudi Arabia by the end of Ramadan and cannot stay for Eid-ul-Fitr in the Kingdom.

Hajj visa requirements

Please note that Hajj visas are only being issued from Mid-Shawwal until the 25th Dhual-Qa’dah of each year.

  • A passport valid for at least six more months and acceptable both for entry to Saudi Arabia and entry to the next destination; the passport should have at least two empty visa pages adjacent to each other.
  • Each applicant must submit one recent passport size colour photograph with a white background. 
  • Applicants must submit a completed application form filled in with a black ink pen or printed; the form must be signed and stamped by the authorized travel agency.
  • The Mahram should write on the application forms complete information on his spouse and children or any relative with whom he is travelling. He should also provide copies of marriage or birth certificates.
  • The applicant must be in possession of a non-refundable roundtrip ticket with confirmed reservations.
  • A vaccination certificate against Meningococcal Meningitis should be attached. Please note that the current vaccination requirements also extend to the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Each pilgrim should submit two certified checks or cashier checks payable to the ‘Unified Agents Office’ in Jeddah for pilgrimage services.
  • Children can accompany their parents. When applying for a visa, they should include their names in the parent passport and attach their birth certificates. Children and women under 45 should be accompanied by a Mahram (a male relative).

Hajj visa is provided free of charge but please note that applicants may be required to pay for other visa-related services. Please consult your official Umrah travel agent for the full details.

Note: No applicant under the legal age of eighteen will be granted a Hajj visa if not accompanied by their families.

 

Tourist visa/eVisa

Saudi Arabia is opening its gates to the world through the issuance of the new tourist visa/eVisa. Travellers looking to take in the hidden beauty of Saudi Arabia may start their journey by applying for a tourist visa here.

Requirements

  • A valid passport for a minimum of 6 months; requirements may vary depending on the individual countries
  • Travellers must be over the age of 18 unless accompanied by a guardian

Please note that visitors arriving in Saudi Arabia on a Tourist visa must provide evidence of a full course of one of the four vaccines currently recognized by the Kingdom: two doses of Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson.

Travellers who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia has opened a web portal for visitors to register their vaccination status. Travellers are, however, advised to check the current entry requirements with their chosen airline before they purchase a ticket.

Visa on arrival

Visa on arrival will be available in line with the following:

  • Applicants are travelling from one of the eligible countries (detailed below)
  • Applicants are holding USA, United Kingdom, or Schengen visas. Said visas must be either tourist or business and travel must be travelling with SAUDIA or any other of Saudi Arabia’s national air carriers.

Please note that visa on arrival facilities are currently suspended for health and safety reasons.

Eligible countries

North America

Canada, the United States

Europe

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

Asia

Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, China (including Hong Kong and Macau).              

Oceania

Australia, New Zealand

Travellers outside the eligible countries list may apply for a consulate visa through Saudi embassies and consulates. You can locate the nearest Saudi consulate here.

 

Family visit visa

For those wishing to visit families and relatives residing in Saudi Arabia, they may take advantage of a special Family Visit Visa afforded by the Kingdom. Requirements are as follows:

  • Original passport valid for no less than six (6) months, with at least two (2) successive empty visa pages.
  • To fill your online application and make a visa payment, please log on to https://enjazit.com.sa/(Guideline for EnjazHealth insurance must be purchased from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Options for local health insurance providers will appear upon processing your Enjaz form.
  • A visa referral note: indicating the number and date of the visa, issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs or either of its branches in Jeddah or Dammam.
  • Proof of relationship between the applicant and inviting party in, along with proof of relationship between applicants themselves, if any.
  • Minors (under 18 years) travelling alone, or with one parent, must submit a notarized letter in Arabic or English signed by a parent or a legal guardian.
  • For non-US citizens, a copy of a green card or document confirming legal residence in the US is required

Those residing in the US may apply for the visa by:

  • Applying in person at the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Via Mail to the Embassy’s address: 601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20037.
  • Through the Embassy’s authorized travel agencies.

 

Residence visa or work permits

Work permits for foreigners are applied for by the employer with the proper government bodies – Interior and Labor & Social Affairs Ministries. Anyone who wishes to stay in the Kingdom for more than three months must have a residence permit (Iqama). This is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is valid for two years.

Foreign employees dependents are also generally given residence visas, which however does not allow employees to seek employment. However, exit visas to leave the Kingdom are required for holders of residence visas.

Requirements

  • Original passport valid for no less than six (6) months, with at least two (2) successive empty visa pages
  • To fill your online application, please log on to https://enjazit.com.sa/ (Guideline for Enjaz). Be sure to choose “single entry”
  • A visa referral note, indicating the number and date of the visa, issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs or either of its branches in Jeddah or Dammam.
  • Proof of kinship when accompanied by a family member: for spouses, a copy of the marriage certificate; for children, a copy of the birth certificate. 
  • The age of the accompanying child may not exceed eighteen (18) years; accompanying daughters must be single.
  • For non-U.S. citizens, a copy of the green card or other documented proof of legal residence in the U.S.
  • medical report in three copies, along with all lab results, and three (3) passport size coloured photographs on white background.  A medical report must be issued by a licensed physician certifying the applicant is free of contagious diseases. Physicians must sign each copy of the medical report indicating their license number and address. Medical reports must be no more than three (3) months past the date of issuance.
  • Children under the age of sixteen (16) do not need a medical report.
  • Minors (under 18 years) travelling alone, or with one parent, must submit a notarized letter in Arabic or English signed by a parent or a legal guardian.

Those residing in the US may apply for the visa by:

  • Applying in person at the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Via Mail to the Embassy’s address: 601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20037.
  • Through the Embassy’s authorized travel agencies.

 

Restrictions

There are strict restrictions in place pertaining to certain items being transported into the Saudi Arabian borders. The items are as follows:

  • alcoholic beverages 
  • pork and pork products 
  • prohibited drugs and narcotics 
  • firearms, explosives, edged weapons 
  • pornographic materials
  • Furthermore, possession of psychoactive substances, when entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is illegal unless authorized by a Government agency.


Please refer here prior to your trip to Saudi Arabia.