Most visitors to Saudi Arabia need a passport and a visa to enter. Until recently, Saudi Arabia didn’t issue tourist visas and only offered business or Hajj visas for religious pilgrims. The government’s goal with the launch of the online visa for Saudi Arabia is to open the country up to tourism.
Saudi Arabia Passport Requirements
Unless you are a citizen of one of the 4 visa-exempt countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the UAE) you need to present a passport to enter Saudi Arabia. In order for your passport to be accepted, you must first register online for the eVisa.
Saudi Arabia requirements: Your passport must have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry into Saudi Arabia. Visitors arriving with less time than this remaining on their document could be barred from entry.
Requirements by Nationality
- China (including Hong Kong and Macau)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Saudi Arabia Visa Types
In September 2019, the tourist visa for Saudi Arabia was enabled, meaning that the Saudi Arabia eVisa is the first type of visa released for tourism purposes. Saudi Arabia already issues other long-term types of visas, usually for work or study purposes. The most requested short-term Saudi Arabian visa is the Hajj visa, obtained for religious purposes.
Visa for Pilgrims: Hajj and Umrah
Hajj visas are for religious pilgrims who travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. Applications are accepted between the 15th day of Shawwal and the 25th day of Dhu’l-Qaeda (in accordance with the Hejirah calendar).
Hajj visas aren’t issued to anyone who has completed the pilgrimage within the last 5 years. Female pilgrims must be accompanied by an immediate family member who is 18 or over. Women over 45 don’t need to be accompanied.
Those who intend to perform the Umrah can do so by applying for a Saudi tourist eVisa and do not need a specific permit. The Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca can be carried out with this visa at any time during the year except during the Hajj season.
Foreign citizens who wish to participate in the Hajj pilgrimage and travel to Mecca during that time of the year must apply for the dedicated visa through the Ministry of Hajj.
Online Visa for Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabia eVisa marks a huge change for tourism in the country. Applicants can complete the application form online without the need to go to a Saudi embassy or consulate in person.
After an application has been approved, the eVisa will be sent to the applicant by email. Travelers are then able to enter Saudi Arabia by presenting their eVisa and their passport.
Saudi Arabia eVisa Mandatory Insurance Policy
The eVisa to Saudi Arabia includes a Mandatory Insurance Policy that is linked to the eVisa. This policy and the eVisa are obligatory requirements to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The insurance is issued by one of the government-approved insurance providers. The company is randomly selected by the government of Saudi Arabia at the moment the eVisa is issued. It is then sent by email to applicants along with the eVisa, once it has been approved.
The eVisa fee includes the Mandatory Medical Insurance Policy that will cover travelers during their stay in the kingdom. Both the eVisa and the Mandatory Insurance Policy are sent to the email address you provide during your application, so make sure to double-check that you have typed your address correctly before submitting your form.