Saudi Arabia Visa FAQ

Traveling to Saudi Arabia has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the nation's efforts to promote tourism and open its doors to the world. Whether planning a vacation, business trip, or pilgrimage, navigating the visa requirements can be overwhelming. We've compiled a comprehensive FAQ guide to help you understand the ins and outs of obtaining a Saudi visa.

Saudi Arabia Visa FAQ

Table of contents

Saudi Arabia visa policy

Currently, only Gulf Cooperation Council citizens can travel to Saudi Arabia visa-free (the list includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE). Additionally, GCC citizens don’t need a passport for Saudi Arabia: a national ID is enough.

Citizens of the UK are eligible for an electronic visa waiver (EVW) instead of a visa. The visa waiver allows UK nationals to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 6 months. The applications are made at visa.mofa.gov.sa portal, at the latest 48 hours before travel.

Foreigners from all other countries looking to enter Saudi Arabia must hold a valid visa.

Until recently, obtaining a Saudi visa at a consulate was only possible. However, since 2019, Saudi Arabia has started issuing online visas for citizens of certain countries.

Note that having an Israeli visa in your passport does not affect your visa to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia visa types

Here are the available types of Saudi Arabia visas, which are based on the entry purposes:

Who is eligible to apply for a Saudi Arabia visa online?

Saudi e-visas are available for citizens of the following countries:

Plus, an online visa to Saudi Arabia can be obtained by GCC residents regardless of their nationality.

Saudi Arabia e-visa application process step-by-step

If you’re eligible, you can apply for an e-visa in these easy steps:

  1. Visit the e-visa platform and fill out your data to register;
  2. Log in to your account and start a new visa application. Select the type of visa you're applying for (e.g., tourist visa) and specify the purpose of your visit.
  3. Fill out the application form. Enter your personal data, including your full name, gender, nationality, date of birth, passport details, and other relevant information. Provide details about your travel plans, including your intended entry and exit dates, accommodation details, and planned activities in Saudi Arabia.
  4. Upload the required documents, including a scanned copy of your passport, a recent passport-type photograph, and any additional documents as specified in the application guidelines. In some cases, you might be required to provide proof of health insurance coverage for your stay in Saudi Arabia.
  5. Pay the visa fee using the payment methods provided on the portal. The cost can vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you're applying for.
  6. Wait for processing and get your visa.

Saudi Arabia visa photo requirements

Make sure the photo you submit meets the following parameters:

Here is an example:

Saudi Arabia e-visa photo requirements

Get a Saudi Arabia visa photo online!

Saudi Arabia is opening up to the world, and we understand that you might want to be the first to experience the adventure! So why not make the visa process simpler where you can? One of the ways to do that is to have your Saudi visa application photo professionally edited to the parameters and get it instantly.

Visafoto has been adjusting photos for passports, visas, and other documents worldwide, and it can also help you in this process. Just take a picture of yourself following the guidance above, under good, preferably daylight, lighting. There is no need to worry about the technicalities such as background, size, and proportions: Visafoto will take care of that.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source

Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at visafoto.com

Result

Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

First, take a photo of yours like this one:

Visa photo original source

Visafoto has your back: you will get a photo fitting for online applications.

Example of a Saudi Arabia e-visa photo

Saudi Arabia visa fees

The fees depend on the visa type you’re applying for. For example, Visa fees (SAR 300) and insurance (SAR 140), equivalent to $123 dollars.

Fees for other types of visas depend on the agency you apply from.

Saudi Arabia visa validity

The Saudi tourist visa is valid for up to one full year (365 days) with a maximum 90-day duration of stay at one time and multiple entries.

The validity of other visa types depends on the type, entry purpose, and the validity stated on the issued visa itself.

How to check a Saudi Arabia visa status online?

If you have applied for an e-visa, you can check the progress of your application by logging in to your account on the platform.

If you have applied for another type of visa through an agency, you can contact the agency and, if they have an online form, check your application status through that form.

For some types of visa like the Family Visa, checking is available through the official MOFA website.

How to apply for a Saudi visa if you are not eligible for an online application?

If online application isn't an option due to ineligibility, you can apply for a Saudi visa by visiting your country's nearest Saudi embassy or consulate.

Obtain and complete the appropriate visa application forms from their official website, gather required documents such as passport, photos, and invitation letters, pay the stipulated fees, and submit your application in person.

Be prepared for possible interviews and wait times during processing. Collect your stamped visa from the embassy upon approval, ensuring accuracy before departure. Remember that procedures may change, so always refer to the embassy's official website for the latest instructions and requirements.

Saudi Arabia tourist visa VS Umrah visa: the difference

The Saudi Arabia tourist visa is intended for leisure and tourism purposes, typically requiring an invitation, hotel reservation, and travel itinerary for eligibility, while allowing stays of up to 90 days.

In contrast, the Umrah visa is exclusively for Muslims aiming to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, necessitating approval through authorized agencies, proof of Muslim faith, and accommodations for the pilgrimage period, focusing solely on religious activities in Mecca and Medina.

You can learn more about an Umrah visa in this guideline.

Can I get a Saudi Arabia visa on arrival?

Visa on arrival is only available for those who fulfill specific requirements. If any of the given conditions are met, tourists can obtain a Saudi visa on arrival at various entry points:

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