Unless you are a passport holder of one of the visa-exempt countries, you need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia, whether for tourism, pilgrimage or business.
If you would like a Saudi tourist visa, apply for our online visa or upon arrival at any of Saudi Arabia’s international airports. Tourist visas can also be used to perform Umrah by Muslim visitors, although for that you will need a separate Hajj visa too. Validity of tourist visas are for 360 days from the date of issue. The visa can be used for visits of up to 90 days each time and not more than a total of 180 days in a year. Overstays can lead to daily fines and even deportation.
The online visas are available to passport holders of any of these countries/territories. If you do not belong to one of these countries, or if you are travelling for any purpose other than tourism, you will need to apply for a visa through an accredited visa agency of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, such as Saudi Able Link.
Apart from that, if you are transiting via Saudi Arabia, and the time between your connecting flights is more than 12 hours, you may need a Saudi transit visa. Confirm with your airline and travel agency regarding this, after your ticket is booked. A travel agency or accredited visa agency can help you with the visa application via the visa section of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
Different Visa Types Approved by the Saudi Arabia Government
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) grants visas for different travel purposes. It is important to understand the visa regulations and make sure you do not overstay the visa limit. Violators can be penalised with heavy fines or even subjected to immediate deportation, detention or a ban on future travel to the KSA. Here is a look at the types of visa you can choose from:
- Tourist Visa: Saudi Arabia welcomes visitors who wish to experience its rich heritage, culture, cuisine and landscape. Visitors can apply online for the eVisa or get a visa on arrival in the Kingdom.
- Hajj and Umrah Visa: If you are a Muslim visitor, who wish to visit the country for religious pilgrimage, you need to apply for a Hajj visa through an authorised visa agency of the Embassy. The visa is valid only for travel in the areas of Jeddah, Makkah and Medina, and for transit between these cities. Around the time of Hajj, Muslim visitors are prohibited from boarding flights to Jeddah, Madinah and Taif without a valid Hajj visa. This, however, does not apply to Muslim travellers with valid Saudi residency permits. Umrah visas are valid for 30 days from the date of entry into the KSA. Hajj and Umrah visas cannot be used for residency or business visits.
- Saudi Business Visit Visa: If you are visiting Saudi Arabia for business purposes, including attending meetings, conferences or other events, you need a business visa. This can be a single or multiple entry visa. For this an invitation letter will be required.
- Saudi Work Visa: To work in any company based in Saudi Arabia, you need an employment/work visa. You will need a letter of introduction from the sponsor company, certified by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the KSA.
- Saudi Family Visit Visa: If you would like to visit family members or friends residing in Saudi Arabia, you can apply for a family visit visa or a tourist visa.
Apart from these, the KSA also issues other visas, such as:
- Diplomatic and Official Visa
- Student Visa
- Exit/Re-Entry Visa
- Government Visa
- Companion Visa
- Diplomatic Missions and Organizations Visa
How to Check Visa Status in the KSA?
After submitting all requisite documents, you can check your Saudi visa status through the Enjazit portal, using your passport number. During the process of visa application, you will need to register yourself on the Enjazit website to submit the visa fee, only after which the visa application will be deemed complete.
To check your visa status:
- Go to https://enjazit.com.sa/VisaPerson/GetApplicantData
- You will have to change the language from Arabic to English through Google Translate
- Enter the right information in the boxes seen on the page, such as your passport number, visa type, current nationality and arrival destination.
- Enter the random image code
- Click on “Perform the Search.”
If you have applied for a Saudi e-Visa for tourism purposes, you will receive status updates of your application via email. The email address provided by you in the Saudi visa application form will be used for all correspondence. After the application process, you will receive a visa application reference number, also via email. It is advisable to keep this number safe and handy for any future queries. It generally takes up to 3 business days for the eVisa to get approved, which will then be sent to you via email.
How to Check Family Visa Status in the KSA?
You can check your family visit visa status through the Enjazit website mentioned above, by providing your passport number and other details. Alternatively, you can check visa status through these steps:
- Go to the MOFA website
- Scroll down to go to the “Enquiry” section
- In the box titled “Searching For,” choose “Application submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”
- Enter your application number in the Order Number box
- Next, enter your “National Identity No.” or “Residence Number” in the box titled “Record Number.” This can be your Iqama number.
- Enter the randomly generated image code
- Click on “Inquire.”
In the next window, you can see your family visit visa status. In case the Saudi Arabia visa is rejected, a one-line red text in Arabic can be seen. But, if your visa is approved, you will see the issued visa document, with all details, such as visa number, application requester name, nationality and expiry date.
How to Check Exit/Re-Entry Visa in the KSA?
You can check your exit/re-entry visa status through the online Muqeem portal.
- Go to the visa validity check link on Muqeem
- The page opens in Arabic, so change it to English
- You can check visa status by choosing “Visa Number” or “Residency Number”
- In case you choose Visa Number, you will need to enter one of the details in the second box – your passport number, residency number, date of birth, visa expiration date or name.
- In case you choose Residency Number, the second box will require you to provide one of the following details – expiration date of residence, visa expiry date, visa number, passport number or date of birth.
- Click on “Check”
- You will see the visa validity status on the next page, including visa duration, type, return date or exit date.
- In case the visa is still under process, you will see a message saying, “Invalid visa number” or “Visa is expired.”
You can also check the visa status through the MOI Absher portal. To do this:
- Log into your Absher account
- Go to “My Services” and click on “Inquiries”
- Click on “Passport” in the next window and then click on “Exit/Entry Visa Status”
- Enter the following details in the new window:
- Sponsor ID
- Iqama number
- Visa number or passport number
- Image code
- Click on “View”
Using the Absher website, you can also cancel exit/re-entry visas for dependents. But for any changes in your exit/entry visa, your sponsor company will have to conduct all formalities.
Saudi Arabia Visa Validity and Fees
Different types of visas have different validity periods. The tourist eVisa is valid for use for up to 90 days from the date of entry into the KSA. Business visit visas that are applied for through an authorised visa agency of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia are valid for either 30 days or 60 days. Hajj and Umraj visas are valid for a period of 30 days.
The visa duration in many cases is dependent on the letter of invitation issued in the KSA. You can check the fees, based on your country of origin and visit duration on the Saudi Able Link website.
Before applying for a Saudi Arabian visa, ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry into the KSA. If your passport contains information of previous visits to Israel or your country of origin is Israel, you may be refused entry into the Kingdom. Female travellers can apply for a tourist visa. You can see our Saudi business visa checklist and Saudi family visit visa checklist to ensure all Saudi visa rules are adhered to.
In case you are a female traveller entering the KSA on a non-tourist visa or a resident visa, your sponsor needs to receive you on arrival in the country.