Saudi Arabia eVisa - Frequently Asked Questions
Find out more about the Saudi Arabia eVisa in the FAQ’s section and get answers to important questions from our team of experts.
As announced by the Saudi Arabian government, the Saudi eVisa will be valid for 90 days, which should be enough time for travelers to experience the culture and see the country. Citizens of any of the 49 nations in the eVisa eligible list (the United States included) are may go on short-term visits to Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes only.
The online Saudi eVisa is the first type of tourist visa which allows foreign travelers to visit Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes. Before the introduction of the electronic visa, foreign nationals could only visit Saudi Arabia by requesting either a business visa or a visa for a religious pilgrimage (Hajj visa), both of which had to be done via a Saudi consulate or embassy.
The eVisa Saudi Arabia is an electronic authorization that grants travelers from eligible nations a year-long pass for multiple short-term (90 days) entries to Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes only.
The goal of the Saudi eVisa is to facilitate the process of obtaining a visa to travel in Saudi Arabia. Foreign nationals, including US citizens, may submit an eVisa application in advance and receive the electronic authorization by email. Once at a Saudi port of entry, they are required to present a printed copy of the eVisa to a border official to be allowed into the country.
By visiting our FAQs page, you will have access to comprehensive information on the Saudi Arabia electronic visa, including what is the eVisa, why is it available for eligible travelers, and which passport-holders may apply.
For a long time, Saudi Arabia has been one of the toughest countries for travelers to visit. But as of lately, the government has decided to tap into the latest technologies in order to promote the growth of the tourism industry in the country. For instance, pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj will have a safer and smoother travel experience through the implementation of new high-speed transportation and artificial intelligence systems.
There are two main purposes behind the new Saudi eVisa:
- First, it promotes international tourism in Saudi Arabia. Thanks to the new eVisa online application system, foreign travelers find it more accessible to visit Saudi Arabia. That is because the eVisa application is done fully online and can be submitted before departure from any location in the world. This prevents travelers to have to make an appointment at a consulate or stand in line at the airport in order to be granted a tourist visa.
- Secondly, the electronic visa system makes it easier for Saudi authorities to improve border check procedures. Each Saudi Arabia eVisa is registered to the applicant’s passport, enabling immigration officers to better monitor the influx of foreign travelers into Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabia eVisa application process is designed to be fast and simple. Travelers who bear a valid passport from one of the eVisa eligible countries, such as the US, and meet the basic travel requirements can complete the application within a few minutes. Besides providing a copy of their passport and personal data, applicants are required to have a debit or credit card to pay for the visa processing fee.
That being said, not every Saudi visa can be requested online. Long-term stay visas, such as study visas and work permits, will probably continue to require a visit in-person to a Saudi embassy or consulate. The new eVisa is directed for tourism trips only.
The Saudi government has announced that the new online visa for Saudi Arabia will be valid for 3 months (90 days). This short visa period should be sufficient to travel around the country and familiarize oneself with the Saudi Arabian culture. With the eVisa, eligible travelers from 49 nations, including United States passport-holders, are allowed to visit Saudi Arabia on short-term trips for tourism purposes.
The introduction of the tourist eVisa enables foreign travelers to obtain a Saudi Arabia tourist visa for the first time. Before the online visa came into action, foreign nationals had to make an appointment at a Saudi embassy or consulate and either apply for a Hajj visa (for religious purposes) or a business visa to visit Saudi Arabia on short-term trips.
Applying for a Saudi Arabia eVisa is easy and simple, and the online form can be filled out in a few minutes. As part of the application procedure, candidates have to enter their personal information (full name, date of birth, address, etc.) and passport details. They are also requested to answer a security-related questionnaire, pay the visa processing fee by debit or credit card, and inform a valid email address where to receive the eVisa. Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, travelers will be asked to present the valid Saudi eVisa along with the registered passport in order to be allowed into the country.
The Saudi Arabia eVisa system is one of the measures within the Vision 2030 – an initiative set into action by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud to modernize Saudi Arabia and promote international tourism in the country. Among other measures within Vision 2030 are the revocation of various rigorous tourist laws and granting women more freedom of movement in the country.
Nonetheless, travelers bearing the new eVisa are still expected to abide by Saudi laws and respect cultural traditions and Islamic practices. These include but are not restricted to bringing alcohol, pork products, and/or drugs into the country, as well as public displays of affection. Women traveling to Saudi Arabia should be aware of their outfits, dressing in conservative clothing and wearing a headscarf when visiting places of worship. During Ramadan, foreigners should bear in mind not to drink, smoke, or eat in public so as to respect the fasting ritual.
Travelers in possession of a valid Saudi tourist eVisa are allowed to visit Saudi Arabia for a period of 90 days. Currently, foreign nationals that have been granted a Saudi Arabia business visa at a consulate or embassy may stay in the country for a period of either 30 or 60 days. Hence, not only does the Saudi electronic travel authorization facilitate visa application procedure through the online form, but it also allows its bearer to travel in Saudi Arabian territory for a longer period.
The application process for a Saudi electronic visa is straightforward. Applicants must have the required documents for a Saudi eVisa in hand, including a passport from any of the 49 eligible nations which must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Saudi Arabia. Should there be any news or official changes on the Saudi eVisa duration it will be updated on this website.
US citizens, as well as passport-holders from any of the 49 eVisa eligible countries, will be asked to fill out an online form with personal details and travel documentation to apply for a Saudi Arabia electronic visa. If approved, the Saudi eVisa will be sent to the registered email.
Although the exact period for a Saudi electronic visa to be processed is yet to be announced, travelers planning to visit Saudi Arabia on an eVisa are advised to submit the online application a few days before departure, at least. You can find updates on the official processing time for a Saudi eVisa on this website.
The processing of a Saudi Arabian electronic visa may take between only a few minutes up to 24 hours.
No. Only unaccompanied children require parental consent when visiting Saudi Arabia. Minors who travel accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian are allowed to visit Saudi Arabia without showing permission from the absent parent.
All information submitted with the online application for a Saudi electronic visa must match that of the applicant’s travel document. Should any mistake be found it can result in delays in the application processing or, in some cases, refusal of the eVisa.
Besides making sure your country is part of the Saudi eVisa eligible nations list, applicants will need a passport valid for no less than 6 months from the date of arrival in Saudi Arabia.
To be granted a Saudi eVisa, eligible applicants are expected to provide detailed travel plans when completing the online application form.
Applicants who have had their Saudi Arabia electronic visa refused in the past will have the chance to apply for a new eVisa. However, they must ensure that the online form is filled with accurate personal data and travel details, as mistakes or incorrect information may result in the application being rejected.
Bearing a valid Saudi eVisa will not necessarily mean that the traveler will be allowed into the country. All holders of an electronic visa for Saudi Arabia will be subjected to the final decision of an immigration officer when going through passport control at any Saudi port of entry.
Applicants will be able to keep track of their Saudi Arabia eVisa application process online by checking the email address provided upon registration for any notification and updates.
Passport holders whose country is a member of the Saudi eVisa list of eligible nations (United States included) may now visit Saudi Arabia by going through a straightforward and fast online application procedure. As well as submitting the application form, there are some basic visa requirements for travel in Saudi Arabia which all eVisa American applicants must meet.
While more nations may be added to the list of eVisa eligible countries, the government of Saudi Arabia has already announced that passport holders of the following countries can apply for an online visa:
- China (Hong Kong & Macau included)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
The eTA Saudi Arabia was announced by the Saudi government on September 27, 2019 and has been made available online for 49 eligible nations, including the United States, since then.