Until recently, Saudi Arabia was a difficult country for visitors to access, and visas were not available for tourists or travelers wishing to visit the Middle-Eastern nation. As of 2019, however, the situation has changed, and citizens from Estonia, Europe, and other parts of the world may now obtain an electronic tourist visa for Saudi Arabia.
This new visa, which will allow foreign visitors to enjoy the rich history, culture, and traditions of the Saudi Kingdom, is part of a larger push by the Saudi government to modernize the country and make it an attractive destination for international tourists.
With this electronic travel permit for Saudi Arabia, Estonian nationals are among the citizens of dozens of other countries who can now take advantage of this new initiative.
Saudi Arabia eVisa Requirements From Estonia
In order to obtain a Saudi eVisa as an Estonian citizen, it is important to understand the Saudi Arabia entry visa requirements for Estonian nationals. According to these requirements, applicants for the eVisa must be in possession of the following two items:
- A valid Estonian passport
- An active debit or credit card (necessary for the payment of eVisa application fee)
Applicants must ensure that the passport they apply with will be valid not only when they submit their application, but also on their intended date of arrival into Saudi Arabia and for a minimum of 6 months afterward.
Estonian nationals traveling to the Saudi Kingdom are also required to obtain a compulsory insurance policy, issued by a Saudi insurance provider, in order to enter the country. However, this insurance policy is issued automatically along with the eVisa itself, so Estonian travelers do not need to take any additional action to fulfill this requirement.
How to Apply for a Saudi Visa as Estonian Passport Holders
For Estonian travelers who meet all the needed prerequisites to enter Saudi Arabia, the next step is to complete an online Saudi eVisa application form and submit it electronically for processing. This form, which is quick and straightforward to complete, requires applicants to supply their basic personal information and document details, including:
- Full name, address, and contact details (email address, phone number)
- Passport data (passport number, dates of issue and expiry)
- Evidence of travel plans (plane, train, or boat tickets, hotel reservations, etc.)
Applicants will also be asked to provide basic details regarding their health status, including vaccinations, and any criminal record.
Furthermore, all those Estonians applying for a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia should ensure that the passport details listed on their eVisa application form are an exact match for those on the passport they plan to travel with.
If the details on the eVisa and the passport do not match, the Estonian passport holder’s eVisa will be considered invalid and will not be accepted for entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi eVisa processing times for Estonian nationals
Most Saudi eVisa applications are processed within 1 working day, though occasionally, processing can take up to 3 working days. Travelers applying for the eVisa for Saudi Arabia from Estonia should be sure to do so well in advance of the date on which they plan to travel, remembering that Saudi authorities do not process applications on weekends or national holidays.
Applications for the eVisa to Saudi Arabia are checked against several international security databases during processing, and information that is entered inaccurately or incompletely on a form can cause issues during this step for Estonian travelers.
More generally, incorrect or missing information on a form is likely to cause a delay in processing for that application. Because of this, travelers of Estonia planning to obtain the electronic travel permit to Saudi Arabia should be very careful when filling out their application form and must double-check to ensure that all the information they have entered is correct.
What should Estonians do after receiving the eVisa for Saudi Arabia
Approved eVisas are delivered to applicants electronically. Applicants who receive their confirmation email should print a physical copy of the document and take it with them when they travel, as they may be asked to produce this document when they arrive in Saudi Arabia.
The eVisa to Saudi Arabia for Estonian citizens once approved, is valid for 1 year, and lets the holder visit Saudi Arabia for 90 days or less within any 180-day window. It has yet to be confirmed whether Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia’s holy cities, will be included on the list of places to which Estonian travelers will have access to with the new online visa.
Why Do Estonians need an eVisa to Visit Saudi Arabia?
The eVisa for Estonian citizens is just the newest of a range of Saudi visas that are available for Estonians traveling to the Kingdom. Which visa is appropriate for the individual traveler depends on the purpose of the trip, for example:
- Family visas allow foreign citizens to visit relatives living in Saudi Arabia
- Business and study visas allow non-Saudis to work or attend education in the Kingdom
- The Hajj visa lets Muslim non-Saudis enter Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage to Mecca
This type of online travel authorization allows Saudi authorities to streamline and strengthen border checks when Estonians, or any other eligible citizens, enter the country.
All the Saudi eVisa application process is highly secure so citizens can submit their personal information without any hassle or security issues.