The government of Saudi Arabia has not yet announced how long the online Saudi visa validity will be. The Saudi visa duration is expected to be for a short period, as, once available, the Saudi eVisa will allow eligible citizens to travel to the country for short stays for tourism.
The launch of the Saudi online tourist visa marks the first time that foreign citizens will able to obtain a visa to visit the country for tourism purposes. Foreign nationals are currently able to obtain a visa for Saudi Arabia for business purposes or for Hajj and Umrah religious pilgrimmage, but these involve applying at an embassy or consulate.
How long I need to apply for the visa?
The Saudi online visa application is expected to be simple and straightforward to complete, and will only take a few minutes to complete with personal and passport information including full name, address, date of birth, and travel document number. It will also be necessary to answer some security-related questions to submit an application, pay the visa fee using a credit or debit card, and provide a current email address at which to receive the approved visa. The applicant will then be able to present a copy of the eVisa alongside their passport upon arrival in Saudi Arabia to gain entry to the country.
The new system forms part of the measures being implemented as part of Vision 2030, an initiative introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in order to boost tourism in the Saudi Arabia and modernize the country. Vision 2030 involves a number of other societal and economic reforms, including repealing some of the stricter laws for tourists and permitting greater freedom of movement for women in the country.
Nevertheless, those who travel to Saudi Arabia with one of the new tourist visas will still have to respect Saudi culture and abide by the remaining laws and regulations in the country. For example, as Saudi Arabia is a strictly Islamic state, it is forbidden to bring certain items into the country, including alcohol, drugs, or pork products. Female travelers should also take care to dress modestly in conservative clothing, and to wear a headscarf if visiting any religious buildings. If visiting during Ramadan, travellers should take care to respect local fasting and not eat, drink, or smoke in public.
As the Saudi tourist visa online system is still being implemented, the exact visa for Saudi Arabia validity period is still unknown. At the moment, those who apply for a business visa for Saudi Arabia from an embassy or consulate can be granted a visa with either 30-day or 60-day validity. However, it has not yet been announced if the Saudi visit visa validity will be the same as the validity for the Saudi eVisa.
There is currently very little information available as the visa is still being developed: the only known requirement for a Saudi Online visa is having a passport from an eligible country valid for 6 months from the intended date of entry to Saudi Arabia. Information about the electronic Saudi visa duration will be published on this site once made available by the Saudi government.