Dubai: Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has made it easier for tourists to visit the country through their eVisa platform, an online portal where applicants can apply for a visa and get it issued within minutes.
In Saudi Arabia, visa on arrival is open to nationals from 49 eligible countries. Tourists from the 49 eligible countries listed below can apply for a tourist visa online through the eVisa platform before travelling, or upon arrival in Saudi Arabia through the visa offices of the Immigration Department at the airport.
The multiple-entry tourist visa is issued for a year, and allows the holder to stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Through the eVisa, tourists can explore Saudi Arabia, visit friends and family, or perform Umrah (this visa excludes Hajj).
Who is eligible for Saudi eVisa and visa on arrival?
According to visitsaudi.com, these are the three categories of visitors that can apply for an eVisa online or get a visa on arrival:
1. Tourists from 49 eligible countries listed below.
2. Permanent residents of the United States, United Kingdom and European Union (EU).
3. Holders of tourist or business visas from the UK, US or Schengen Area. However, this visa must have been used at least once, and should have an entry stamp from the issuing country for the holder to be eligible.
The applicant must be 18 years old. Underage applicants will need a guardian to apply for an eVisa and accompany them.
You must also keep in mind that your passport must be valid for six months to be eligible for a Saudi tourist visa.
2. United States
9. Czech Republic
33. San Marino
40. United Kingdom
47. South Korea
49. New Zealand
How do I apply?
According to Visit Saudi, there are two ways individuals eligible for the eVisa and visa on arrival can apply:
1. Before travelling – through Online eVisa platform - visa.visitsaudi.com
2. Upon Arrival - Visa on arrival is granted upon entering Saudi Arabia through the visa offices at the Immigration Department.
For Saudi eVisa, it takes approximately five to 30 minutes to be issued.
For permanent residents of the UK, US and EU, the multiple or single-entry visa option is going to depend on the decision of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), which issues it on a case-by-case basis.
Cost for Saudi eVisa and Visa on Arrival
The cost for the tourist eVisa is SR535 (Dh523). The visa cost includes a fee for full health insurance during your stay in Saudi Arabia.
The cost for the tourist visa on arrival is SR480 (Dh469).
eVisa for GCC Residents
In September 2022, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism announced that residents in GCC countries are allowed to apply for a tourist eVisa and can apply for it online.
GCC residents will have to apply for the visa through the eVisa platform operated by Saudi Arabia's MOFA - visa.mofa.gov.sa
For an in-depth guide on how GCC expats can apply for a Saudi visa, click here
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