Saudi Arabia has finally decided to open its doors to foreign tourists, creating a ripple of excitement in the travel industry. According to the Colliers research, reported by ArabianBusiness.com, the tourism sector is set to contribute more than $70 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP in 2019. The research also states that the number of international arrivals in Saudi Arabia is set to increase from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million by 2023.
Although most visitors to Saudi Arabia are currently religious tourists, but that is set to change. As part of its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is planning to make the country more attractive for all types of tourists. The kingdom is planning a multi-billion-dollar project to transform about 50 island in the Red Sea to luxury resorts. The construction of a futuristic city and a theme park are also ongoing.
But before you plan to visit Saudi Arabia, you are required to obtain a visa.
To legally enter the kingdom, every citizen of Australia needs a visa. In fact, there are various types of visas available for Australians, such as business visa, student visa, tourist visa and so on. The simplest of these is the Saudi Arabia e-visa.
The e-visa is a tourist visa that allows nationals of 49 countries to visit Saudi Arabia. This list of countries includes Australia. With an e-visa, you can spend up to 90 days in the country within a one-year period. It allows you to enter Saudi Arabia multiple times in during period. The e-visa makes the entire process of visa application very simple. You are not required to take an appointment or present your original documents at the consular office or embassy.
It is also important to remember that visas are strictly meant for tourism and business purposes and must not be used to seek employment.
The documents required to obtain a Saudi Arabia visa from Australia include:
You need have an Australian passport that is valid for at least six months after your entry into Saudi Arabia. The passport must also have at least two blank pages.
In case of an e-visa, you will receive your visa via email. So, it is important for you to have a working email account that you can access easily.
You need a digital copy of your passport-sized colored photograph. Your full face must be clearly visible in the photograph and it must be taken against a white background.
The steps for applying for a Saudi Arabia electronic visa from Australia are as follows:
The first step in applying for an e visa is to login to the official website for Saudi Arabia visa. Be sure that you go to the official site, since there are several lookalikes online.
The next step is to create your account for the e-visa. To create your account, you need to fill in your personal details, such as your first name, last name, email address and your phone number. You also need to enter your passport type and the country of issuance. Once you have created the account, you will receive a verification link on the email address you’ve provided. Click on this link to activate your account.
After your account becomes active, you can start filling up your application form. There are several pages to be filled. It is important to ensure that you provide accurate information. You also need to provide your personal details, such as name, marital status, gender, residential address and so on. Along with this, you will need to upload a photograph of yourself. The dimensions of the photograph should be 200X200 pixels and size between 3KB and 100KB. The accepted formats are .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif and .bmp.
You also need to enter your intended dates of arrival and departure from Saudi Arabia.
The last step is to pay the visa fee, which can be paid through a credit or debit card. The total payable amount is SAR463.44 and include the medical insurance fee, 5% VAT and transaction fee.
According to the Saudi Arabian visa policy, it is necessary to have an insurance policy that is linked with the e-visa. The insurance can only be issued by a provider approved by the Saudi government. Once the electronic visa is approved, the insurance policy, along with the e-visa, is sent to the applicant via email.
The mandatory insurance policy is arranged for visitors by the government and so, you don’t really need to take separate insurance before traveling to Saudi Arabia.
In case you are traveling to Saudi Arabia for the first time or are unsure of the visa application process, it is a great idea to get all your visa needs taken care of by a trusted agency, like Rapid Visa. We ensure that you have a completely hassle-free visa application experience, taking care of the entire process on your behalf.