The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, once one of the most inaccessible nations in the Middle East, has recently become an exciting new travel destination for tourists from Malta, Europe, and all over the world.
In 2019, the Saudi government rolled out a new electronic visa for Maltese citizens wishing to visit the historic and culturally diverse nation.
This means that for the first time nationals of Malta, and other countries, will be able to obtain a Saudi visa specifically designed for tourism.
Saudi Online Visa Requirements from Malta
In order to obtain their Saudi eVisa, all individuals traveling on a Maltese passport must first meet the Saudi Arabia visa entry requirements. These conditions state that applicants for the eVisa must have:
- A valid Maltese passport
- An email account where the eVisa for Saudi can be sent
- An active means of electronic payment (debit or credit card) with which to pay the eVisa processing fee
Applicants of Malta should note that this passport, in addition to being valid at the time of application, must have at least 6 months of validity after the date on which they plan to enter Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the passport must be machine-readable.
In addition to these requirements, there are certain health conditions that need to be met when traveling to Saudi Arabia. Travelers of Malta are advised to visit a doctor before arriving in the country in order to check if they need any vaccinations, for instance.
The Saudi government also requires to obtain a mandatory insurance policy in order to enter the country. However, Maltese applicants do not need to take any special action to obtain it, as the insurance is processed and delivered automatically alongside the electronic visa. Similarly, the cost of the insurance policy is built into the Saudi eVisa processing fee.
How to Apply for a Saudi Arabian Visa From Malta
Maltese applicants who meet the Saudi Arabia visa requirements can then proceed to complete and submit the Saudi eVisa application form.
The form is a brief, straightforward questionnaire which asks applicants for the following points of personal information:
- Full name and contact details (phone, email, etc.)
- Passport information (number, date of issue, expiry date)
- Travel itinerary and supporting documents (hotel or transportation bookings, outing reservations, etc.)
The form also contains several questions regarding the applicant’s health status and criminal history.
Individuals of Malta applying online for an online visa to Saudi Arabia are advised to review the information they provide very carefully before submitting their application form. This is because data entered inaccurately may lead to a delay in the application being processed.
Saudi e-Visa applications are checked against several international security databases during processing, and any false or incomplete information can cause this check to take longer.
Furthermore, if the passport details included on the application form do not match those on the passport used to travel, the electronic visa for Maltese citizens will be considered invalid and will not grant entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Maltese citizens applying for a Saudi eVisa: Processing times
Once Maltese travelers have successfully completed their application form, they will generally receive the travel permit within 1 day. However, processing may occasionally take up to 3 days, excluding weekends and Saudi holidays.
For this reason, Malta passport holders are advised to apply for the Saudi electronic visa with enough time before they travel.
Once an application is approved, it will be delivered to the applicant by email. This online application process for Saudi Arabia is secure at all points, and third parties do not have access to applicants’ data in the system.
Maltese nationals should simply print a physical copy of their eVisa and carry it with them when they travel, as they may be asked to produce it at their Saudi port of entry.
Validity of Saudi eVisa for Maltese applicants
Once the electronic visa for Maltese citizens is issued, it is valid to travel for one year. Within that time, Maltese nationals can visit Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days within a single 180-day period.
Malta nationals should take this validity restrictions into consideration to avoid any fines or immigration issues in Saudi Arabia. Applicants always have the option to check the status of their Saudi online visa.
Other Saudi Visas Available for Malta
In addition to the eVisa to Saudi Arabia for Maltese citizens, individuals from Malta may also travel to the Saudi Kingdom on a number of other visas, depending on the purpose of their trip.
Other Saudi visa types include:
- The Hajj visa, a visa specifically for Muslims traveling on pilgrimage to Mecca
- Business and education visas, for those coming to Saudi Arabia to work or study
- Family visas, for travelers visiting family in the Kingdom
Travelers should note that the Saudi government has not yet announced whether visitors traveling on a visa for Saudi Arabia from Malta will be permitted to enter Mecca and Medina, the holy Muslim cities located within the Kingdom.