Saudi Arabia Visa for UK Citizens
Getting a visa to Saudi Arabia is much easier than it was years ago. However, it requires a bit more effort than getting a visa to most other countries. So get your travel documents together, and start the process to get your Saudi Arabia Visa now!
Although there aren’t any specific requirements for UK citizens to enter Saudi Arabia, there are a few basic requirements you should worry about first. Any visa class will allow you to apply for 3 or 6 months of stay. You’ll also need to decide if you’ll enter the country once, or if you’ll be moving in and out of the Saudi Arabian border.
Keep in mind that tourist visas to Saudi Arabia are only available to those who are visiting friends or family living in the country. Although the Saudi Arabian government has talked about further reviewing these restrictions, these are the current conditions.
Requirements for UK Citizens
Whether you’re visiting family, friends or making a pilgrimage, you will need to meet these requirements. Any visa agency that is accredited with the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia should help you understand these requirements thoroughly with their application process.
To start with you’ll need a Saudi Embassy Application Form and a Visa Order form. These forms are available online and are fairly easy to complete. Additionally, you’ll need two passport size photos in color print. That size is 35mm by 45mm.
When applying for a visa, you need to be as specific as possible, because some visas only allow entry into the country via air travel. If you plan on entering Saudi Arabia through Bahrain, you might need a special notice or type of visa. Additionally, if you don’t have a Hajj visa for a pilgrimage, you cannot enter through Madina or Jeddah airports. This restriction affects Muslim travelers as well.
Extra Information You Will Need
With particular concerns regarding passports, you’ll need to be sure that your passport is valid for six months after anticipated entry into Saudi Arabia. Passport validity is a common requirement through many foreign countries, but each country fluctuates on the time frame required.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia has a requirement which is uncommon and may be new to many regular travelers. Even with a visa, you may be refused entry into Saudi Arabia if your passport shows before traveling to Israel. Or, if Israel is your birthplace you would also be denied entry.
Female travelers may fly into the country alone. However, they cannot leave the airport without a resident or sponsor meeting them first. Without a present sponsor, male family member, or resident meeting you at the airport you will experience delays in being allowed to enter into Saudi Arabia. It may also prevent you from continuing to other flights if you’re transitioning in a Saudi Arabian airport and the transition takes longer than 12 hours.
You’ll also need a certificate for a yellow fever vaccine before entering into the country.
How Long Does it Take?
How long it takes to get a visa varies wildly based on what type of visa you’re applying for and what time of year that you’re putting in your application. Typically, permit processing times to increase in the months preceding Hajj, so it’s best to avoid this time of year altogether.
Outside of the Hajj time frame, you should expect your visa to take between a few days and a few weeks. Unfortunately for business visas, the process can take up to 6 months. You cannot apply for your visa more than three months before your anticipated date of entry.
Overall, Saudi Arabia visas are hitting record times for processing. But if you’re looking to move through the process as quickly as possible, you should consider applying for an e-visa which will save you time spent in an office, but also allow you the most direct application method.
Differences Between a Tourist Visa, and a Business Visa
A temporary tourist visa to Saudi Arabia will allow those who have sponsorship to enter and stay within the country. All visitors must follow Saudi law and locals encourage visitors to engage in Saudi customs as well. A tourist visa is the most appropriate visa for coming into the country to visit friends or family.
A temporary business visa is only available to those who have a business that requires them to visit Saudi Arabia and have proof of this necessity.
How Long Can You Stay in Saudi Arabia on a Visa?
On a visa, you can stay for anywhere from 30 days to 3 months on a tourist visa and up to six months on a business visa. There are particle visas available to fit your needs, and it’s important to explore these options before you submit your application.