Saudi Arabia is one of the most up-and-coming destinations for intrepid travelers. Seen as an ‘inaccessible country’ for years, the government is now opening the doors to tourists through the implementation of an electronic visa for over 45 nationalities, which includes travelers from the United States of America.
This page explains how visitors from the U.S. can apply online for travel to Saudi Arabia. It also details the requirements of a Saudi Arabian eVisa and how Americans can travel under this program.
Documents Required for US Citizens
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires all United States citizens to have a Saudi Arabia visa before traveling to the country. There are many options, including business visas, diplomatic visas, and religious pilgrimage visas.
From September 2019, American citizens have also been able to apply for a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia through a simple eVisa application, eliminating the need to visit an embassy or consulate to obtain travel authorization.
There are a few important visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia which visitors should be aware of. They include, but are not limited to:
- The provision of extended passport validity of 6 months.
- Submission of one (1) recent passport size color photograph with a white background. Photograph(s) must be full-face shots in which the applicant is facing the camera directly.
- The payment of a visa fee
Other necessary information that applicants must apply with includes:
- Personal details (full name, address, date of birth, etc.)
- Passport data (number, expiration date, nationality and country of issue)
- Proof of travel (dates and accommodation)
How To Apply for The Saudi Arabian Visa for U.S. Passport Holders
It is easy to apply for a visa to Saudi Arabia for U.S. citizens. The visa to Saudi Arabia from the USA can be requested from your home country and the process is quick and straightforward.
Everything can be done through the online application form where the applicant can fill in and complete all the required details.
The online application for Saudi visa only takes a few minutes to complete. Candidates will need to fill out information such as their personal details (name, address, date of birth), passport details (number and expiration date), and a basic travel itinerary (accommodations, plans, etc.)
Once the form is completed and the payment has been submitted, travelers will need to wait until their Saudi Arabian electronic visa (eVisa) is processed and approved. The approximate time it takes to receive a decision is between 24 to 72 hours, although some applications may take longer.
Once the eVisa is approved, though, it will be sent directly to the traveler via email to their personal inbox.
When the holidaymaker has arrived in Saudi Arabia they will need to present their passport along with a copy of the eVisa in order to be granted access to the country.
The Saudi eVisa fee for U.S. citizens also includes the cost of processing obligatory medical insurance for the country, which is attached to the approved visa. The government works with various insurance companies and the applicant is randomly assigned to a provider without regard to nationality, sex, or age. All insurance plans are accepted at the same hospitals in Saudi Arabia and cover emergency medical cases up to a value of 100,000 SAR ($ 26,660).
Registering with the U.S. Embassy
The American government gives its citizens the opportunity to register their information with the embassy as they travel abroad.
It is a quick and straightforward online process. Americans simply need to submit their data and travel details electronically. In case of an emergency, the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia will get in touch with the traveler and assist them, or help them contact their family and friends.
The registration can conveniently be completed as part of the visa application.
Travel to Saudi Arabia as a U.S. Citizen with an eVisa
The implementation of the Saudi tourist visa for U.S. citizens is an exciting development in the travel and tourism industry, as it is opening up the country to American tourists for the very first time. The system is part of Vision 2030, an initiative implemented by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, to modernize the country. The initiative has already resulted in some of the more conservative laws in the country being relaxed, including several controversial restrictions for women.
The Saudi eVisa for American citizens has been introduced in order to facilitate the visa application process and to significantly boost tourist numbers to the country by 2020. The new system follows the use of a successful visa pilot scheme, which has allowed foreign visitors to obtain a visa to travel to events in Saudi Arabia such as the Formula E Diriyah ePrix, the Tantora Winter Cultural Festival, and the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival.
The government of Saudi Arabia also hopes that the introduction of the online visa will make it easier to travel between neighboring countries and their “tourist hotspots,” such as Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the Ancient City of Petra (Jordan) or Doha (Qatar).
No matter whether you are visiting Saudi Arabia for an exciting event, a business meeting, or to enjoy the country, it is becoming possible for visitors of all kinds to get a visa quickly and easily online.