Visa and Passport Requirements for Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Entry Requirements
While citizens of the four visa-exempt countries, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, are permitted entry to Saudi Arabia with only a national ID card, most travellers require a passport and a visa to be eligible for entry.
The Saudi Arabian government recently launched its online Visa for Saudi Arabia, thereby opening the country to tourist opportunities. Historically, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only issued Hajj visas for religious pilgrims and did not until now issue tourist visas.
Saudi Arabia Passport requirements
Those eligible citizens not from any of the visa-exempt countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman) must present a passport to enter Saudi Arabia. Valid passports must have a minimum of one blank page to allow for the passport to be stamped on arrival and departure.
Israeli citizens may not enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Passports with an Israeli stamp may also be rejected, and passport holders denied entry. With effect from June 2017, citizens of Qatar are also refused entry, following the breakdown of diplomatic ties.
A valid passport for entry to Saudi Arabia must have a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of entry into Saudi Arabia.
Requirements by Nationality
The Saudi Government has yet to finalise the list of eligible countries. The eVisa is currently available to eligible citizens from the following countries:
Visa Types for Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia did not offer tourist visas for entry to the country before the launch of the Saudi Arabia eVisa. The launch therefore signals the first visa released for tourism purposes.
Long-term types of visas for Saudi Arabia have always been available and are typically for the purpose of studies or employment. Of the short-term Saudi Arabian visas, the Hajj visa is the most popular, and is issued for religious purposes.
Applications for the Hajj visa are accepted in accordance with the Hejirah calendar, from the 15th day of Shawwal until the 25th day of Dhu’l-Qada. The visa is issued to religious pilgrims entering Saudi Arabia for the Haji, but restrictions do apply:
- Anyone who has completed the pilgrimage within the last 5 years is not eligible
- Female pilgrims must be accompanied by an immediate family member of or over the age of 18
- Women over 45 need NOT be accompanied.
Online Visa for Saudi Arabia
The online Saudi Arabia eVisa application for entry into Saudi Arabia is quick and simple and of monumental significance to tourism in the country. British passport holders are among those who no longer need to consult a Saudi embassy or consulate in person for permission to enter Saudi Arabia.
Travelers need only complete the online application and once it is approved, they will receive their eVisa by email. Travellers enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by presenting their eVisa and their corresponding passport. It does not get any more convenient or simple.