Saudi Arabia is one of the newest travel destinations open to a selected number of international citizens, including Greek passport holders.
It was previously 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 September 27th, 2019, Saudi Arabia’s authorities began issuing electronic visas (eVisas) for touristic purposes to the citizens of the Schengen Area, United States, Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan.
This was first trialed in 2018, Saudi Arabia when eVisas were issued for the Formula E event held in the capital city of Riyadh. After declaring the project a success, the Saudi Arabian electronic visas system was duly rolled out less than a year later.
How to Apply for a Visa for Saudi Arabia as a Greek Passport Holder
Saudi Arabia’s visa requirements for Greek citizens are very simple. 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:
- A passport, valid for at least 6 months, from the date of entry into Saudi Arabia
- A completed eVisa online application form
- One passport-sized photo, dimensions: 200 x 200 pixels or 2.08 x 2.08 inches
- A valid email address
- Debit or credit card information 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. Any mistakes on the form or missing required documents can lead to longer processing time and even rejection. Saudi Arabia’s 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 currently available information, a non-Muslim citizen cannot enter the center of Medina and the city of Mecca as they are restricted for religious visits only.
In order to visit these locations, the visitor must be a follower of the Muslim religion and in most cases will only be permitted to travel during the Hajj and with a valid Hajj visa. This can only be obtained at a Saudi embassy or consulate.
The Saudi Arabian electronic tourist visa grants 30 days of travel within the country. It is valid for 1 year from its date of issue and can be used multiple times for tourism or transit purposes.
Saudi Arabia Offers Visa Travel to Greek Citizens
It is advised that Greek citizens apply for the electronic visa at least 72 hours 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 applicant’s provided email address. Since the visa is electronic, it will be digitally 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 apply for Saudi Arabian border control officials to inspect.
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 the membership certificate to the applicant alongside their visa.