Saudi Arabia has opened its borders to the outside world with the newly introduced tourist visa. Saudi Arabia offers visitors a chance to discover and experience warm hospitality, a rich culture, a diverse heritage, and breathtaking landscape views. The government plans to expand the tourist market beyond religious pilgrims to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil revenues.
After a COVID closure of more than 17 months, the country reopens for fully vaccinated tourists from the beginning of August 2021 through an eVisa. Tourists can stay up to 90 days in the country with the eVisa, which is a one-year visa allowing multiple entries. Has the Kingdom been on your bucket list for a long time? We will discuss the criteria for getting a Saudi tourist visa, the requirements, and the list of eligible countries in this article.
Visitors can apply for a visa in three ways; i) Apply for eVisa ii) Visa on Arrival, and iii) Consulate visa.
Apply for eVisa: Before traveling, eligible tourists may apply for a visa online through the e-Visa portal.
- Step 1: Go to visitsaudi.com
- Step 2: Register your eVisa account
- Step 3: Fill the application
- Step 4: Pay the visa fee
- Step 5: Get your online visa
Visa on Arrival: Tourists can apply for a Visa on Arrival at one of Saudi Arabia’s entry points if they satisfy the following conditions:
- The tourist is from one of the countries in the eligible countries list.
- The tourist is holding a USA, United Kingdom, or Schengen visa.
Consulate visa: Travelers outside the list of eligible countries must apply for a consular visa through a Saudi embassy or consulate.
General requirements for visa
- You must have a valid passport for at least 6 months, depending on the agreements between Saudi Arabia and the other countries concerning passport validation (for example, US-based citizens).
- A tourist coming to Saudi Arabia must not be under the age of (18) unless accompanied by a guardian.
- Visitors require to register their vaccine status at https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home.
- Travelers also need to register data via the ‘Tawakkalna’ app. The app is mandatory to enter public places.
- They need to carry a negative PCR test within 72 hours before their departure and a vaccination certificate.
- Travelers who have a previously issued visa must buy COVID insurance cover at the airport.
Eligible countries for the eVisa?
For the time being, KSA only allows fully immunized tourists from 49 countries. The country currently approved two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson. Sinopharm and Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccines have recently been added to Saudi Arabia’s approved list of vaccines. However, a booster dose would be required for those who have taken two doses of the Chinese vaccines.
eVisa applications can be submitted via the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage website or upon arrival at any Saudi Arabian entry point.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 calls for a tremendous amount of effort and investment in the tourism sector. Saudi Arabia has been working to boost tourism and increase investment, as well as developing its manpower and attracting visitors and tourists from outside the Kingdom, in accordance with the 2030 Saudi Vision.
Saudi Arabia is a tourist wonderland filled with archaeological and cultural wonders. Planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, which places should you explore? Watch this space for more info.