Data released by Colliers International suggests that international tourist arrivals in Saudi Arabia will increase at a rate of 5.6% annually to reach 23.3 million in 2023, from 17.7 million in 2018, according to an article by Greek Travel Pages. This is because, with the implementation of the e-visa program, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia now allows citizens from 49 countries, including Italy, to enter the kingdom for the purposes of tourism.
How To Apply For A Saudi Arabia E-Visa For Italians
The process of obtaining a Saudi visa for Italians has been simplified with the e-visa program. Italian citizens can now complete the entire application process online, in just 10 minutes. Here are the basic steps to follow.
STEP 1: VISIT SAUDI ARABIA’S OFFICIAL ELECTRONIC VISA PORTAL
Login to the official e-visa website of Saudi Arabia. Make sure you visit the official website because there can be many others masquerading as the real one.
STEP 2: CREATE AN ACCOUNT
Create an account to start the e-visa application process. Once you create an account, you can start filling up the visa application form. You can also check the status of your application here. To sign up for the account, enter your passport type and the name of the issuing country, Italy in this case.
Fill in the basic details, such as your full name, email address, phone number, along with your login info, such as username and password. Once you’ve done this, a confirmation link will be sent to the email address you had provided. You will need to click this link within 24 hours of it being sent to activate your account.
STEP 3: APPLY FOR THE SAUDI ARABIA ONLINE VISA
Once your account has been activated, you can start filling up the visa application form. The form contains several pages, so make sure you keep enough time aside to fill in all the details accurately. All personal details, such as your full name, gender, country of birth, marital status, occupation and residential address are to be entered on the first page.
You are also required to upload a digital photo of yourself, where your entire face is clearly visible. The photo must be taken against a white background, The accepted dimensions are 200×200 pixels and size between 3KB and 100KB. The accepted file formats for the photo are .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif and .bmp.
On the next page, fill in your passport information and your intended dates of entering and exiting the country.
You will also need to fill in the purpose of travel to Saudi Arabia and your place of accommodation 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. The medical insurance will be issued by the Saudi government, as part of the visa process, so you don’t need to buy insurance separately.
Finally, the last page will have details of the terms and conditions.
STEP 4: PAY THE VISA FEE
The last step is to make a payment of SAR463.44. This amount includes the visa fee of SAR300, insurance fee of SAR133, 5% VAT, which comes to SAR22, and a transaction fee of SAR8.44. You can pay the amount 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 initially provided while creating an account.
Documents Required To Enter Saudi Arabia For Italian Citizens
Saudi visa for Italians was previously limited to student visa, business visa, family visit visa, work visa and so on. But now, you are eligible for the Saudi Arabia Tourist e-visa, which permits you to enter the kingdom for the purposes of leisure and tourism. At the port of entry, however, you will need to produce certain documents. These include:
An Italian passport with validity of a minimum of six months beyond your intended travel dates. The passport should have at least two blank pages for the passport stamp.
TOURIST E VISA
A copy of the electronic visa which was sent to you via email.
You are only allowed to carry SAR 60,000 while entering and exiting the country. If you are likely to exceed this limit, you need to inform the officials. In case you fail to do so, you could be face severe punishment.
Vaccination proof for Polio, Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, etc., will also need to be produced. Along with this, medical insurance is a must, without which you will not be allowed to enter the country.
Top Places To See In Saudi Arabia
Here are some beautiful places to visit when you are in Saudi Arabia.
AL MURABBA PALACE
The former home and court of King Abdul Aziz, this palace is one of the most breathtaking sites in Riyadh. The traditional Najd architecture of Saudi Arabia is reflected in this palace, which makes it an iconic place of visit. You can also see the personal belongings of the King here.
If you want to gain a deeper insight into the art, culture and history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you must visit the National Museum. Many spectacular illustrations, like The Arabian Kingdoms, The Prophet’s Mission, Islam and the Arabian Peninsula, Man and the Universe, The Pre-Islamic Era, The Unification, The Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques, First and Second Saudi States are all displayed inside.
USHAIGER HERITAGE VILLAGE
This is a prime location for pilgrims from Kuwait, Iran, etc., to stop for Hajj and Umrah. Ushaiger means “little blonde,” derived from the red mountain that surrounds the village. The locals called it “Blonde” during ancient times, hence this name. The village houses several old mud buildings, which highlights the history of the Saudi region called Najd.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most visited countries of the Middle East, with millions of Muslims travelling each year for pilgrimage purposes. Now, it is likely to gain further prominence with the e-visa system.
If you are travelling to the kingdom for the first time or are unsure about the visa for Italians, contact an experienced agency, like Rapid Visa, for a smooth and hassle-free visa experience.