In 2017, Saudi Arabia welcomed 19 million international tourists, according to figures released by Statista. This number is expected to rise to 100 million by the end of 2030, with the introduction of the electronic tourist visa in 2019. Given how fond South Koreans are of travelling, the kingdom could well be your next vacation destination. However, to enter Saudi Arabia, the first step is to obtain an e-visa
Tourist Visa Requirements For South Korea
To obtain the Saudi Arabia tourist visa for citizens of South Korea, the following documents are mandatory.
A South Korean passport, with validity of a minimum of six months beyond the intended travel dates to the kingdom. You will require at least two blank pages for the entry stamp.
You will need a recent passport-sized photograph of yourself, taken against a white background. Make sure your complete face is visible in the photograph.
PROOF OF ACCOMMODATION
You will need to provide information regarding where you will be residing while in Saudi Arabia. For this, you can either use the confirmation of hotel bookings in the kingdom or an invitation from a relative or friend to stay with them.
How To Apply For Saudi Arabia Visa For South Koreans
The application process for the visa for citizens of South Korea can be completed in a few simple steps online.
STEP 1: VISIT SAUDI ARABIA’S OFFICIAL ELECTRONIC VISA PORTAL
To start the application procedure, login to the official e-visa website of Saudi Arabia.
STEP 2: CREATE AN ACCOUNT
Create an account on this website by entering your passport type and country of issuance. Basic details like your full name, email address, phone number, along with your login info, such as username and password are also required to create the account.
A link will be sent to the email address you had provided to activate the account. Click on the link within 24 hours of it being sent. After this, your account becomes official and the next time you log in, you will need to enter the verification code which you have received via email, to confirm the account.
You can check all the visa details and even the status of your visa application here.
STEP 3: FILL IN THE APPLICATION FORM
The first page of the application form will require you to fill personal details, such as your full name, gender, country of birth, marital status, occupation, residential address and so on.
Upload a digital photo of yourself, where your entire face and forehead are clearly visible. The dimensions should be 200×200 pixels and size between 3KB and 100 KB. The photo should 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 leaving Saudi Arabia. Fill up the purpose of travel to the country and your place of accommodation.
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 will have details of the terms and conditions.
STEP 4: PAY THE VISA FEE
The final step is to make a payment of SAR463.44. The cost breakdown is as follows:
Visa Fee: SAR300
Health Insurance Fee: SAR133
5% VAT: SAR22
Transaction Fee: SAR8.44
You can make the payment through credit or debit card.
The online Saudi visa for citizens of South Korea usually reaches you within 24 to 72 hours of submitting the application. However, it might be delayed if there are any discrepancies in the information provided or documents are missing.
Local Laws You Should Follow In Saudi Arabia
In Saudi Arabia, public behaviour of men and women is strictly orthodox. In case you violate such behavioural guidelines, the punishment could be severe. Here’s a list of guidelines on how to conduct yourself in the kingdom.
- Tourists, both men and women, should dress modestly when in public. Women should cover their knees and shoulders at all times. Men should not been seen without full sleeved shirt and full trousers.
- If you belong to the LGBT community, make sure you do not exhibit any kind of same sex relations in public. You should also avoid encouraging or preaching similar relationships.
- Avoid wearing clothes that have obscene images or inappropriate texts on them.
- Importing and exporting banned products like arms, alcohol, pork, pornographic material and anything that is in breach of the Islamic culture is punishable by even the death sentence.
- All married women must have the permission of their husband if they want to leave the country. In case of unmarried women, permission from any male guardian such as father, brother or uncle works.
- All electronic devices brought in by tourists are subject to inspection before being allowed in or out of the country. You might need to submit your devices for such inspection.
- Christmas decorative items and magazines are not permitted within the territory of Saudi Arabia.
- Practicing any religion other than Islam is considered highly offensive.
- Alcohol consumption is considered to be “haram” or forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Carrying alcohol is also considered an offense and you might be subjected to severe punishment.
- Make sure you are not in physical contact with the opposite sex in public. A simple handshake, however, is permitted.
Keep in mind that no embassy or consulate officers can intervene in case you have violated the kingdom’s laws and are subject to penalties.
If this is your first time travelling to Saudi Arabia, it might be useful to enlist the services of an experienced agency, like Rapid Visa, who can help make the entire experience smooth and hassle-free for you.