What is the Saudi Arabia Bahrain Causeway
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) issues Saudi tourist visas to citizens of approved countries, through the online e-Visa program. Tourist visas are valid for a period of 360 days, from the date of issuance, and can be used to stay in the country for up to 90 days at a time. The number of days in a year should not exceed 180 days in total. E-Visas can be single-entry or multiple-entry visas.
For any other purpose, such as business visits, family visits, Hajj or employment purposes, visas can be applied for through agencies accredited by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London.
Entry into Saudi Arabia is possible through its 7 international airports, 5 regional airports and other domestic airports. However, not all these airports permit entry to e-Visa holders. Apart from these, travellers may also enter the Kingdom through one of the land entry points, such as the Saudi Arabia-Bahrain Causeway.
Different Points of Entry into the KSA with a Valid Visa
Although there are over 20 airports in the Kingdom, only a few receive foreign visitors with valid visas at present. They include:
- King Khalid International Airport – Riyadh
- King Fahd International Airport – Dammam
- King Abdulaziz International Airport – Jeddah
- Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International – Medina
The King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is the biggest airport in Saudi Arabia with flights to 109 destinations across 45 countries. King Khalid International Airport has flights to 80 destinations and is the second biggest airport in the Kingdom.
Apart from these international airports, travellers with an eVisa can also enter the Kingdom through one of the land border entry points by road.
- Entering KSA from Bahrain:Travellers from Bahrain can enter into Saudi Arabia through the King Fahd Bridge border checkpoint. This series of bridges and causeways is a 25km stretch, the western terminus of which is the Al-Khour neighbourhood of Khobar, Saudi Arabia, whilst the eastern terminus is at Al Jasra, Bahrain.
- Entering Saudi Arabia from the UAE:Through the Al-Batha border crossing, travellers can enter Saudi from the United Arab Emirate. This crossing is situated on the western border of the Emirates, approximately 500km to the south-east of Riyadh.
All necessary documents, including stamped Saudi Arabia visas, passports and other travel documents, are checked by border patrol officers at these entry points before they grant entry into the KSA. Travellers can pass through these land borders only if the border entry point is mentioned in their approved visa. Similarly, travellers need to enter through an airport mentioned in their visa, as the approved port of entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Entry Via the Saudi-Bahrain Causeway – King Fahd Causeway
The 25km long King Fahd Causeway links Saudi Arabia to Bahrain. Opened in 1986, the causeway has contributed to commercial exchanges between the two nations. In terms of passenger traffic, the Saudi-Bahrain Causeway is one of the biggest in the Middle East. Bahrain is a top destination for Saudi Arabian visitors, during the mid-year school leave. In January 2020, the causeway recorded the highest number of travellers since its opening, with 131,000 people crossing in one day.
The structure was constructed in three segments, starting from Al-Aziziyyah, south of Khobar, Saudi Arabia, to the Border Station on Passport Island. The next segment is from the Border Station to Nasan Island in Bahrain, with the last segment from Nasan Island to Al-Jasra, Northern Governorate in Bahrain.
The border station located on Embankment No. 4 is the largest of the embankments, at 660,000 square metres. This artificial island is known as Passport Island. The Saudi border enforcement officers check every traveller’s documents here and process the paperwork to grant entry into the Kingdom.
Along with government offices, the border station consists of two mosques, two coast guard towers and two tower restaurants. On March 6, 2017, the Causeway introduced a one-stop crossing system. Under this system, travellers who wish to enter the KSA will only have to stop at one post for passport control, car clearance and customs. This has increased the efficiency of the border checks.
Can UK Citizens Travel to Saudi Arabia via Causeway from Bahrain?
UK citizens, who wish to enter the KSA via the Causeway from Bahrain, need to check the terms of their Saudi Arabia visa before travelling. Consulting an accredited Saudi visa agent or the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London should be considered, since some visas might allow entry only by air.
If entry through the Causeway is allowed, according to the visa terms, it should be mentioned in the respective visa application. Foreign travellers with valid commercial and work visit visas need to enter and exit Saudi Arabia as per the mode of travel specified in their visa sticker.
Documents To Enter Saudi Arabia via the Land Border?
If your KSA-issued visa carries an annotation that allows entry via both land and air, and if the Causeway is mentioned as your entry point, then you can enter via the land border. The documents that you will usually need to produce before the border enforcement officers include:
- A valid passport, with more than 6 months validity from the date of entry into the KSA.
- Valid visa, issued by the MOFA, Saudi Arabia, including an Saudi e-Visa.
- Evidence of onward travel into the country.
- Attested documents showing purpose of travel.
- Address of accommodation in the KSA, including the letter of invitation of your sponsor, attested by the MOFA, Saudi Arabia.