An eVisa to Saudi Arabia Now Just a Few Clicks Away
Saudi Arabia’s eVisa is a visa waiver program. It was implemented by the government in September 2019. Earlier, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided only business, work and Hajj visas to foreign nationals. However, it now offers tourist visas to travellers, online and on arrival. This, in addition to the relaxation of several other policies, is landmark decision by the otherwise conservative Middle Eastern nation and can be seen as an attempt to boost Tourism.
Have doubts about Saudi Arabia’s electronic tourist visa? Get all your questions answered right here in this article.
What is the Saudi Arabia eVisa?
Saudi Arabia’s eVisa is a strictly tourist visa. It is a multiple entry visa. The eVisa is valid for 1 year from the date of issue. Using this eVisa, a traveller can stay for a maximum period of 90 days at a stretch on a single trip. To add, the tourist is granted a total stay of 180 days on a valid eVisa. With an eVisa, tourists can tour all of Saudi Arabia except the pilgrim cities of Mecca and Medina.
An eVisa to Saudi Arabia also includes an insurance policy that covers tourists in the event of a medical emergency or mishap. The insurance policy is a mandatory clause. The government has a tie-up with insurance providers and randomly selects one for eVisa applicants. The insurance policy is linked to the eVisa and mailed to the applicant along with the travel permit.
An approved Saudi Arabia eVisa allows travellers multiple entry options. You can enter by sea, air or road. You will have to produce a hard copy of the eVisa and your passport at the respective checkpoints.
Are you eligible for a Saudi Arabia eVisa?
Saudi Arabia has designated only 49 countries eligible for its eVisa. They are Canada, United States, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Brunei, China (Including Hong Kong And Macau), Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand.
If you are a national of any of these countries, you are eligible to apply for an eVisa. If your country does not feature in this list, you will have to contact the Saudi Arabian embassy. Citizens of the neighbouring countries – Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE – are visa-exempted; they can travel to Saudi Arabia without a visa, electronic or physical.
Getting your eVisa Application Accepted
The application for an eVisa to Saudi Arabia is an online procedure and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. There are a few tips to reduce the chances of rejection.
- The applicant is required to fill in the online application form. It has slots for personal information (name, date of birth, address), passport details, travel plans (dates and accommodation options) and security questions. The details submitted have to be accurate as a small mistake could result in your application getting rejected.
- A coloured, digitised photograph that meets the regular passport and visa criteria. It should have a white background. It should have a full-face view.
- Your passport should be valid. To add, it should have a validity of minimum 6 months from the expected date of arrival. Citizens with a dual citizenship should submit the correct passport copy.
You can check the status of your visa application online post-submission. After the application is processed and approved, the electronic travel permit copy will be mailed to the applicant’s email address.
Saudi Arabia eVisa: Other Requirements
- A functional email address is a must. This is because the eCopy of the visa and the insurance is sent to the applicant’s email.
- eVisas should be obtained before the intended date of travel. eVisas are processed within 24 to 72 hours, but could take longer in a few cases.
- A credit or debit card to process the eVisa and insurance fee.
Prior to September 2019, the only way to obtain a visa to Saudi Arabia was to visit the embassy. However, now it so quick and easy, that it is possible to get it done at the click of a single button.