In an attempt to boost the economy and encourage international tourism, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced the electronic travel visa, which allows citizens of 49 countries to enter the kingdom for a short stay. The Saudi Foreign Ministry reported that 24,000 foreigners visited the kingdom within the first 10 days of the e-visa being implemented, according to an article on Arab News. Needless to say, Saudi Arabia is a fascinating country, with a rich history and culture. With the implementation of the e-visa, it is expected to see a rise in popularity as a tourist destination.
Who Can Apply For The Saudi Visa
Apart from the citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and United Arab Emirates, the passport holders of the following countries are required to apply for a Saudi visa for tourism purposes:
- South Korea
- United States
- China (including Macau and Hong Kong)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
Documents Required To Enter Saudi Arabia
Saudi visa was previously issued for the purposes of education, business, family visits, employment and so on only. The new online tourist visa system allows visitors to travel to the country for leisure. The following documents need to be produced at the port of entry in Saudi Arabia.
A passport with validity of a minimum of six months beyond the intended stay in the kingdom. At least two blank page should be available in the passport for the entry stamps.
You are only allowed to carry up to SAR 60,000 while entering and exiting the country. In case you expect to exceed the cash limit, you need to inform the officials. In case you fail to do so, you could be liable for severe punishment.
Vaccination proofs for Polio, Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, etc., will need to be produced. Along with this, medical insurance is a must, without which you will not be allowed to visit the country. Fortunately, the medical insurance is arranged by the Saudi government as part of the e-visa process. The payment for this insurance is included in the visa fee.
TOURIST E VISA
A copy of the electronic tourist visa, which would have been sent to you via email. You need to carry a hard copy, while also keeping a soft copy accessible.
It is important to keep in mind that having a tourist visa does not automatically guarantee entry into Saudi Arabia. The immigration officers at the port of entry can refuse entry if you fail to provide all the necessary documents or you are perceived as a threat to the kingdom’s national interest or security.
What Does The Tourist Visa Allow?
The terms and conditions of Electronic Saudi Visa to enter the country are:
- You are allowed to stay in the country for a period of up to 90 days.
- The visa allows you to enter the country multiple times within the one-year period of its validity.
- The entire process of visa application is online, and you are not required to visit any embassy or consulate to complete the procedure.
- Tourist visa does not grant permission to carry on business or work in Saudi Arabia.
- The visa applicant should be a minimum of 18 years of age. If not, they need to be accompanied by an adult guardian.
- If you are a non-Muslim, you can only use the visa for tourism. You are forbidden entry to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
- If you are a woman under 30 years of age, you need to be accompanied by a male guardian or have a letter from a male guardian permitting you to travel on your own to the kingdom.
- The tourist visa can also be obtained on arrival at the Saudi airports.
- In case your passport has an Israeli stamp, you will not be permitted entry to Saudi Arabia.
- The tourist visa must be produced, along with the mandatory supporting documents, such as your passport, health insurance, itinerary and so on.
How To Apply For The Saudi Electronic Visa
In order to obtain a Saudi visa, follow these steps.
STEP 1: VISIT SAUDI ARABIA’S OFFICIAL ELECTRONIC VISA PORTAL
Login to the official e-visa website of Saudi Arabia. Make sure it is the official one because there are several other websites that look exactly like the real thing but are not.
STEP 2: CREATE AN ACCOUNT
Create an account for the e-visa application. A 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 it being sent. This activates your account and makes it official. The next time you log in, you will need to enter the verification code, which would have been sent to you via email.
Fill in basic details, such as name, e-mail address, phone number, along with your login info, such as username and password.
STEP 3: APPLY FOR THE SAUDI ARABIA ONLINE VISA
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 of the Saudi visa application form.
Next, upload a photo of yourself, where your entire face is clearly visible. A photo in bright natural light is ideal.
You will also be required 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.
STEP 4: PAY THE VISA FEE
The last step is to make an online payment of SAR463.44. This includes the visa fee of SAR300, insurance fee of SAR133, 5% VAT, which comes to SAR22, and a transaction fee of SAR8.44.
Once all the steps are completed, you will receive your e-visa via email within the next 2-3 working days. If you are a first-time traveller to Saudi Arabia or are unsure of all the requirements for the Saudi visa, use the services of an experienced agency, like Rapid Visa. We will take care of the entire process on your behalf and guide you regarding the visa, so that you have a completely hassle-free experience.