Under its Vision 2030 program, Saudi Arabia is working hard to bolster its tourism industry, expanding it much beyond the Umrah and Hajj travels. The aim is to boost the economy and create more employment in the kingdom. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, in line with the Vision 2030 goal, is looking to grow tourism from 3% the Saudi GDP as of 2019, to 10% by 2030, says an article on Arab News.
The new electronic visa is part of this growth initiative, allowing the citizens of 49 countries, including Finland. to enter Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes. This is a historic move for a conservative country, which now aims to increase cultural awareness among visitors and reduce cross-cultural misunderstandings.
The electronic tourist visa for the citizens of Finland can be obtained online through some simple steps. Here’s a look.
The first step is to visit to the official e-visa website of Saudi Arabia to register yourself for an account. For this, you will need to enter your country of nationality and your passport type. Fill in your basic details, such as name, email address and phone number, along with your login info, such as username and password. An activation link will be sent to the email address you had provided to activate the account.
You will need to click this link within 24 hours of receiving it to activate your account and make it official. Once the account is active, you can start filling up the visa application form. You can also check the status of your application through this account.
The application form contains several pages, so make sure you keep enough time aside to fill in all the details accurately. Enter personal details, such as your full name, gender, country of birth, marital status, occupation and residential address on the first page.
Next, upload a photo of yourself, where your entire face is clearly visible. A photo in bright natural light is preferred. The dimensions of the photo should be 200x200 pixels and the size should be between 3KB and 100 KB. It has to be in .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif or .bmp format.
On the next page, fill in your passport information and your intended dates of entering and exiting Saudi Arabia. The dates need not be rigid because once you get your visa, you can enter and exit the country at any time within a period of one year.
You will also need to fill in the purpose of travel to the kingdom and details of your place of stay in the country. On the next page, enter the purchase details of the mandatory medical insurance. The cost of insurance is SAR140, including 5% VAT. Finally, the last page contains the terms and conditions, which you should read before summitting the form.
The last step is to make a payment of SAR463.44. This includes a visa fee of SAR300, insurance fee of SAR133, 5% VAT or SAR22 and the transaction fee of SAR8.44. You can pay the amount online, via credit or debit card.
After you have submitted the application, the e-visa will be sent to you on the email address you had provided while setting up your account. Remember that the Saudi electronic visa is for the purposes of tourism only. Non-Muslim visitors are strictly not allowed within Mecca and Medina. In case of Muslims, you may travel on a tourist e-visa for Umrah but not during the Hajj season.
A few simple documents are required for the citizens Finland to enter Saudi Arabia.
A Finnish passport with a validity of a minimum of six months beyond the intended travel dates. The passport should have at least one blank page for the entry stamp.
A copy of the electronic visa, which you would have received via email.
Foreign nationals are allowed to carry up to SAR 60,000 while entering and exiting the kingdom. In case you exceed the cash limit, you will need to inform the officials. Failing to do so might land you in legal trouble.
Vaccination proofs for Polio, Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, etc. will need to be produced at the port of entry. Along with this, medical insurance of $26,666 is a must for each tourist, without which you will not be allowed to visit the country. The medical insurance policy would have been provided for you by the Saudi authorities along with the visa. The payment for this insurance is part of the visa fee.
If you are visiting Saudi Arabia for first-time visitor or are looking for the simplest way to get a Saudi Arabia visa for citizens of Finland, use the services of an experienced and reputed agency, like Rapid Visa. We will guide you through the entire process to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays or visa denial.