Saudi Arabia is one of the most popular destinations around the globe. While Saudi Arabia is a holy place for Muslims, non-Muslims visit this country for fun and glamour. Recently, the country has started the electronic visa waiver program, allowing tourists to enter Saudi Arabia without a traditional visa.
Instead of a traditional paper or stamp visa, foreign nationals can now visit Saudi Arabia using an electronic visa. This travel document is designed to streamline the visa application, making the entire process fast and simple.
Types of Saudi e-Visas
Except for Gulf Cooperation Council countries, all other nationality holders are required to have a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia offers different types of visas for different purposes, such as:
The most common Saudi e-visa is their tourist visa. This travel document can be used for tourism, transit, and short business trips. Short business trip includes workshops, short conferences, meetings and any additional professional or commercial activity that does not require a contract.
Saudi Arabia tourist e-visa comes with a validity period of 1 year. It is a multiple entry visa that allows a holder to stay in the country for 90 days. E-visitors can stay in Saudi Arabia for 90 days in one entry and no longer than 180 days per year.
Besides tourist visas, Saudi Arabia also offers Umrah e-visa. This travel document is for religious pilgrims who want to enter the country for Umrah and Hajj. For Hajj, applications are only accepted between the 15th Shawwal and 25th Dhu'l-Qaeda (Hejira Calendar).
Hajj visas won't be issued to pilgrims who have visited the country in the last 5 years. If a female pilgrim wants to visit Saudi Arabia using a Hajj visa, she must be accompanied by an adult family member.
How to Apply for a Saudi Arabia e-Visa?
Whether you want to enter Saudi Arabia for tourism or business purposes, getting an e-visa is a perfect choice for you. You don’t need to visit the Saudi embassy located in your country. You don’t have to follow complicated steps. You don’t even have to schedule a visa interview.
To get Saudi Arabia tourist visa online, all you need to do is partner up with VisaHQ and follow these steps:
Fill out the visa application form
Pay the visa fees
Submit your application
Keep in mind that an e-visa does not guarantee your entry into Saudi Arabia; the immigration officer has the final say! On approval, you'll receive your e-visa via email! Afterwards, you can enter Saudi Arabia by air or by road.
Unlike a traditional visa, you don’t need dozens of documents to apply for an e-visa. Basically, you only need 4 documents to get a Saudi e-visa, including:
Valid Passport - The most important thing that applicants need to apply for a Saudi visa is their original passport. While applying for your visa, make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity remaining. Also, your passport must have at least 2 blank pages for stamps.
Passport-Type Photograph - Applicants also need their most recent passport-type photograph taken within the last 6 months.
Means of Payment - To get your visa, you'll need to pay the embassy fee and the visa service fee. As this entire process is online, you'll need online payment options, such as a debit or credit card.
E-mail Address - Lastly, you must have a valid and working email address. Your email address will be linked to your passport. On approval, you'll receive your visa via email, so make sure you are using your own email address to complete the visa application process.
Besides these, you might need some additional documents depending on your purpose of visit and nationality. It's recommended to get health insurance, a health declaration form, and a COVID-19 vaccination certificate beforehand to avoid self-isolation.
Visa Application Form
The visa application form is the most important thing! If there are errors or mistakes in your visa application form, your e-visa will be delayed or denied. So, make sure you double-check all the provided data before submitting your visa application form.
To fill out the visa application form, you'll need to provide personal, contact, travel, and passport information, such as:
Date of birth
Place of birth
Passport issue and expiry date
The processing time for a Saudi Arabia electronic visa varies from applicant to applicant. Generally speaking, you'll get your e-visa within 3-5 business days. However, due to secondary checks, applicants might have to wait a little longer. Therefore, it's recommended to apply for an e-visa at least 2 weeks prior to the actual departure date!