Saudi Arabia is a destination I will never forget, and I really hope to go again soon. So, if Saudi Arabia is tugging on that travel string of yours, then I have just the thing. Saudi Arabia offers a Tourist Visa to everyone. "Traveling made easier" is one thing that comes to mind when I think of the process.
For this post, we'll guide you on how to get your Saudi Arabia visa, the required documents, and more.
Let me help you get your Tourist Visa today...
What Is A Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?
The Saudi Tourist 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 visa that allows tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country. It covers tourism-related activities and excludes other activities such as studying. In addition, Muslims may perform Umrah (excluding Hajj season) on a Tourist Visa. The tourist visa is available as an e-visa, visa-on-arrival, and consulate visa.
British residents in Saudi Arabia will need a valid exit permit or re-entry permit from the Saudi Ministry of Interior to leave and re-enter the country.
How Can I Apply For My Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?
As I have mentioned above, there are three types of Tourist Visas for Saudi Arabia. The first way you can apply for your Tourist Visa is online. This is known as an eVisa. However, an eVisa is only available for nationals from certain countries. Therefore, I recommend checking if you're eligible before applying for an eVisa.
The second Tourist Visa is known as a Visa On Arrival. This Visa allows US visa holders and Schengen Visa holders to get a Visa when they arrive at an International Airport in Saudi Arabia.
You must use your US visa or Schengen Visa at least once for you to get a Visa On Arrival.**
The third and final way to get a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa is the old-fashioned way. That's right. You need to go to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia and apply in person.
I know this sounds like a lot but don't worry. I'm going to take you through everything you need to know.
The local law states that you will receive a fine when you overstay on your visa.
What Are The Required Documents For A Saudi Arabia eVisa?
Before starting your application process, I always recommend gathering all the required documents. If you are from one of the countries that allow you to apply for an electronic visa (eVisa), you only need the following documents:
- Passport (valid for at least six months) taking into consideration the agreements between Saudi Arabia and the other countries regarding passport validation (example: US citizens).
- Passport-size photo.
Remember that you can use Atlys' free passport photo tool for your Saudi Arabia visa application. Just upload or take a photo, then the tool will resize and change the background color of your photo.
What Are The Required Documents For A Saudi Arabia Visa On Arrival?
The On Arrival Visa is probably the most low-maintenance visa you can ever get. All you need for this visa (entry requirements) is your valid passport and a return flight ticket. Because the visa issuance takes place when you’re already in Saudi, you don’t require a lot of documents.
What Are The Required Documents For A Saudi Arabia Consulate Visa?
Unfortunately, not everyone can apply for an eVisa or a Visa On Arrival. This means that you need to go to the Saudi Arabian Embassy to apply for your Tourist Visa. If you do apply at an Embassy, you need the following travel documents:
- A completed application form.
- Your Passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival).
- Health insurance purchased from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( options provided during the application process).
- Proof of accommodation during your stay in Saudi Arabia (hotel reservations).
- Proof that you paid the visa fee (payslip).
- Return flight ticket.
- Travel itinerary.
- Proof of employment.
- Bank statements.
- Complete personal information, including your home address.
- Yellow Fever vaccination certificate (if you travel from a Yellow fever country).
How Can I Apply For A Saudi Arabia eVisa?
Now that you have all your required documents, you can start the application process. To apply for an eVisa is very easy, and the best part is that you can apply from the comfort of your own home.
I'll give you a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Access the website
The first step is self-explanatory. You need to access the website you use to apply for your eVisa. In this case, it would be the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage website. At the top right corner of your page, you'll see an option to apply for your eVisa. Click on it.
Step 2: Create an account
Next, you need to create an eVisa account. Then, select your passport type and country of nationality. After that, you'll see you need to give information like your name and email address. Fill this out to complete setting up your account.
Step 3: Verify your account
Before you can log in, you need to verify your account. They will send an email to you which shows what you need to do to verify your account. When you log in, you'll notice that they also send you a verification code you need to enter before logging in.
Step 4: Apply for the eVisa
Now that you're logged in, you can move on to the next step. First, you need to choose whether you are applying for one person or for a group of people. Choose the option you want. After you choose, you need to answer a bunch of questions (truthfully) and provide a personal picture
Step 5: Fill out the visa application form
Next, you need to fill out more questions, but these questions are about your travels. You need to provide your passport number and expiry date, and how long you intend to stay in Saudi Arabia.
Step 6: Choose your Medical Insurance
You're almost done. All you need to do now is choose which medical insurance you want for your trip. The medical insurance companies shown to you are all approved and certified in Saudi Arabia.
The medical insurance comes with a fee. I will discuss the costs later in this post.
Step 7: Review the application
From here on, it's effortless. All you need to do is read and agree to the terms and conditions and review your application.
Step 8: Pay your visa fee
The last step is to pay your visa and medical insurance fees. They will show the costs for you on the page. Be sure to have your credit card on hand.
They will notify you via email if they approve your eVisa.
How Can I Apply For A Saudi Arabia Visa On Arrival?
I know I said the eVisa application is easy ( which it is), but it doesn't get any easier than this. To get a Visa On Arrival, you need to go to the visa issuing desk at the Saudi Arabia port of entry once you disembark from your flight. Officials will then grant you your visa once you show them your passport.
How Can I Apply For A Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa At An Embassy?
Applying at an Embassy is easy. First, you need to locate the Saudi Arabia Embassy near you or the Embassy in your jurisdiction.
Next, fill out your visa application form. You can get the application form at the Embassy or on their website.
Stack together all the required documents and the application form and hand it in at the Embassy. Before applying, you need to pay the visa fees and attach the payslip to your documents.
Then, you need to wait and hear if they grant your Tourist visa. If they do, they will notify you via email. Then, you need to pick up your passport with the visa at the Embassy.
How Long Does It Take To Process A Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?
The visa processing time may differ depending on the Embassy. It usually takes 5 days but can take as long as 2 weeks. If you apply for an eVisa, it goes quicker. The processing time for an eVisa is usually between 3-4 working days.
How Much Does A Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa Cost?
The costs can change, but the visa costs are:
- SAR 300 for an eVisa, Visa On Arrival, and Embassy visa.
- SAR 180 for medical insurance (including tax).
That's all, folks!
All you need to do now is apply, fly and dine. My work here is done. The rest is up to you. I hope you enjoy the rich culture the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has to offer, I know Riyadh and Jeddah are popular destinations (in case you’re looking for places to go). And who knows, maybe you’ll learn some beautiful Arabic while you're there.