Saudi Arabia eVisa FAQ’s
Answers to Frequently asked Questions pertaining to the Saudi eVisa and information about the Saudi Tourist eVisa are provided here.
The Saudi visa duration, as officially announced by the government of Saudi Arabia, is 90 days from the date of issue. Validity is not from the date of entry but from the date the eVisa is issued. The Saudi eVisa is the first tourist visa ever to be issued by the country. Eligible citizens from 51 countries including the United Kingdom, can now enter the country for short stays for tourism purposes.
Before the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched the Saudi online eVisa, foreign citizens were unable to obtain a visa for tourism purposes. Foreign nationals historically had to apply in person at an embassy or consulate for the issue of a visa for business purposes or for the Hajj and Umrah religious pilgrimage.
The eVisa is an electronic travel authorization that allows single entry for approved citizens from eligible countries. The visa is for a single entry for a short-term stay only.
Tourists are now able to apply online in advance for the eVisa for Saudi Arabia, through a simplified and swift process. This tourist visa is delivered electronically by email, and travellers must present a printed copy to the Saudi authorities upon arrival in the country.
Historically, Saudi Arabia has always been among the most difficult countries in the world to enter as a foreigner. The government has now taken this step to encourage international tourism through the utilisation of up-to-date technology and the issuing of the new eVisa.
Purpose of the eVisa:
- Basic online visa application encourages travel to Saudi Arabia and facilitates tourism in the country. The online application prior to travel from any country globally does away with the inconvenience of personal consultation with a consulate or embassy. No more waiting in queues for issuing of a visa on arrival at the airport or making appointments to obtain a tourist visa.
The eVisa application information allows authorities unique access to traveller’s biometrics and security information through links to the traveller’s passport. The government can therefore streamline and strengthen border checks accordingly. The eVisa smooths the control of entry of foreign nationals to Saudi Arabia.
Those citizens holding a passport from any of the eligible countries who meet the visa requirements can apply online for the Saudi Arabia eVisa for tourism purposes only. It is unlikely that visas for purposes other than short stays for tourism will be available through the online application process in the near future, if ever. Work, study, and other long-term visas will require application in person. Applicants can complete the application in minutes, using the quick and simple process to obtain the new electronic visa for Saudi Arabia.
The following are requirements for application:
- Copy of a valid passport,
- Provision of required personal information, and
- A credit or debit card with which to pay the application fee
It takes only a few minutes to fill in the Saudi Arabia tourist visa application form, which is simple and straightforward. Certain simple questions relating to security must be answered as part of the the Saudi eVisa application, and the following personal information must also be provided:
- full name
- date of birth
- travel document number, and
- travel plans
Applicants must hold a passport from any of the 51 eligible countries. The passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended date of entry into Saudi Arabia.
To avoid possible rejection of the application or unnecessary delays, it is very important that all sections are accurately and carefully completed.
The application process is as follows:
Step1: Complete the online application form, provide required information and answer questions carefully. All passport details given on the application form must match the passport presented for travel for the Saudi eVisa to be considered valid.
Step 2: The data supplied on the application form is screened and checked using numerous databases.
Step 3: Once the application has been processed and approved, the applicant will receive the eVisa via the email address provided on application.
Step 3: Visa holders must present a printed out copy of the eVisa together with the passport used for application upon entry to Saudi Arabia.
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud implemented the new visa system as part of Vision 2030, to encourage tourism and update Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination. Vision 2030 as an initiative involves certain economic and societal modifications, not the least of which being the annulling of specific rigorous laws for tourists and allowing women greater freedom of movement.
It remains important to obey the laws and respect Saudi Culture as a visitor travelling within Saudi Arabia. Being that it is a strict Islamic state, it is forbidden to bring certain products such as alcohol, drugs, and pork products into the country. Female tourists should dress modestly while in Saudi Arabia. Female headscarves are required when visiting religious buildings. It is forbidden to eat, drink, or smoke in public when visiting during Ramadan, and local fasting regulations should always be carefully observed.
The Saudi tourist eVisa obtained online has a validity period of 90 days. As such, the tourist visa is not only easy to apply for, it also grants visitors a longer stay than a traditional visa would. At present a business visa for Saudi Arabia as issued by an embassy or consulate is valid for either 30 days or 60 days. We will keep details continuously updated regarding Saudi Arabia’s new electronic eVisa as and when the Saudi government implements official amendments.
As an eligible citizen, application can be made online for the electronic visa to enter Saudi Arabia by completing the online application form. Approved applicants will receive the electronic visa for Saudi Arabia via email.
Application for the Saudi Arabia electronic visa should be made online a minimum of a few business days before the intended travel date. As of writing, an expected processing time has not yet been announced for the electronic Saudi eVisa. Updates will be published when available.
Visa processing online may be from a few minutes to as long as 24 hours.
Does a parent require consent from the absent parent to travel to Saudi Arabia with his/her minor child?
No. A child traveling to Saudi Arabia in the custody of only one parent need not present consent from the absent parent. Unaccompanied minors do however require parental consent to travel to Saudi Arabia.
If I have made a mistake during the online eVisa Saudi Arabia application process, what should I do?
Information provided on the Saudi Arabia eVisa application form must exactly correspond with that appearing in the applicant’s relevant travel document. Any discrepancies will result in rejection or delays in the granting of the eVisa. You can however make a new online application.
Applicants for the Saudi Arabian online visa must be in possession of a passport from an eligible country which is valid for at least 6 months from the intended date of entry. The passport should also have at least one blank page for the arrival and departure stamps.
Applicants are required to provide details of relevant travel plans to apply for and be granted an eVisa for entry to Saudi Arabia.
A new application for the Saudi eVisa can be submitted online following a rejection. Applicants are encouraged to carefully check the accuracy of the information provided on the application form since discrepancies and errors will certainly be viable cause for the rejection of the application.
The final authority on eligibility for entry into Saudi Arabia ultimately lies with the immigration official at Saudi border control. As such eVisa holders may not be guaranteed entry into Saudi Arabia.
Status updates on Saudi visa online applications are submitted to the email address provided by the applicant on the eVisa application form.
Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, are visa-exempt, and permitted to travel to Saudi Arabia without a visa. The Saudi Government has yet to finalise the list of eligible countries, as such we can confirm that citizens of the following countries may currently apply for the eVisa:
- China (including Hong Jong and Macau)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Applicants utilising the simple and efficient online application process must meet the basic requirements for the Saudi visa.
The eVisa came into effect on 27th September 2019.