Saudi Arabia is one of the newest travel destinations open to a selected number of international citizens, including Greek passport holders.
Until now, it has been one of the most closed-off countries in the world for tourism, with a limited number of visitors allowed to enter the country for religious and business purposes only.
On April 1, 2018, Saudi Arabia’s authorities introduced the plan to start issuing electronic visas (eVisas) for touristic purposes to the citizens of the Schengen Area, United States, Africa, Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan. The list of eligible countries is also expected to expand soon.
To test out this plan, on 1 December 2018, Saudi Arabia released a project to issue eVisas for the Formula E event held in the capital city of Riyadh. After declaring the project a success, the full opening of the Saudi Arabian electronic visas system is expected to launch very soon.
How to Apply for a Visa for Saudi Arabia for Greece Passport Holders
Saudi Arabia visa requirements for Greece citizens will be very simple once the system is up and running. Among the various Saudi Arabia visa application methods, the online visa for Saudi Arabia from Greece is the easiest and fastest option available to Greek passport holders.
Instead of having to set up an appointment at the nearest embassy or consulate, wait in long queues for an interview with the immigration officer, applicants can simply fill out the online application form from the comfort of their own homes.
The online application form is simple and straightforward and does not take more than 10 minutes to fill in. It contains the following basic personal questions to answer:
- Personal information: full name, date of birth, address
- Passport information: nationality, passport number, expiry date
- Health history information: medical history
- Security information: criminal conviction history
- Travel plans: dates, bookings
After having submitted the application and completed the payment, applicants can expect to receive a response from the Saudi Arabian authorities within 24 or 72 hours.
Saudi Arabia Visa Requirements for Greece Citizens
Visa requirements for Greece citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia also include the following list of documents:
- Passport, valid for at least 6 months, counting from the date of entering Saudi Arabia
- The complete eVisa online application form
- One passport-size photo, dimensions: 200 x 200 pixels or 2.08 x 2.08 inches
- Valid email address
- Debit or credit card for the visa fee payment
Before submitting, applicants are advised to double-check the information provided as well as the documents submitted in order to avoid any delays in the visa processing time due to mistakes or missing required documents. Incomplete applications and applications containing errors may take longer to process or risk being rejected altogether. Saudi Arabia eVisa fees are non-refundable in case of rejections or cancellations.
Greek transit passengers should also obtain a Saudi Arabian eVisa if the connecting time between flights is longer than 12 hours.
According to the current available information, a non-Muslim citizen cannot enter the center of Medina and the city of Mecca as they will be restricted for religious visits only. Also, women under 25 years old cannot travel to Saudi Arabia alone. They must travel in organized groups or accompanied by a male family member or companion. Whereas, women above 25 years of age will be allowed to travel alone to Saudi Arabia for touristic purposes.
The Saudi Arabian electronic tourist visa will be single-entry and grant 30 days of validity.
Saudi Arabia Offers Visa Travel to Greece Citizens
It is advised that Greek citizens apply for the new electronic visa at least 2 weeks prior to the intended entry date to Saudi Arabia, to allow for sufficient processing time.
Once approved, the Saudi eVisa will be sent directly to the applicants provided email address and since the visa is electronic, it will be electronically linked to the traveler’s passport number, removing the need to put stamps on empty passport pages.
Upon arrival at a Saudi Arabian airport, travelers must present a printed copy of the visa email as well as the passport to Saudi Arabian border control officials.
The fee of the Saudi eVisa for Greek citizens also includes the cost of processing obligatory medical insurance to cover the stay in Saudi Arabia, which is attached to the approved visa. All insurance plans are accepted at the same hospitals in the country and cover emergency medical cases up to a value of 100,000 SAR (€24,174,). The government works with various insurance companies and the applicant is randomly assigned to a provider without regard to nationality, sex, or age. In some cases, the government will send a copy of membership certificate to the applicant alongside their visa.