What Is the Electronic Visa to Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi Arabia eVisa is a single-entry electronic travel authorization that allows citizens from eligible countries to visit Saudi Arabia for a short-term stay.

The eVisa has been designed to quicken the process of getting a visa for Saudi Arabia. Tourists are able to apply for their visa in advance and receive a copy of their permit via email. They are then required to show their printed visa to the Saudi authorities upon reaching a Saudi Arabian point of entry in order to enter the country.

In this FAQ page, you will learn more about the Saudi eVisa, what it is, why it is now available to elegible citizens, and which travelers are elegible to apply.

Why Is the eVisa for Saudi Arabia Being Introduced?

Saudi Arabia has long been one of the most difficult countries in the world to gain access to. However, the government has expressed the desire to encourage and support international tourism and has used the latest technologies to do so. For example, artificial intelligence devices and high-speed means of transport are being implemented to ensure a smooth and safe experience for the millions of pilgrims traveling to Mecca during the annual Hajj.

The new eVisa serves a double purpose:

  1. On one hand, it is a way to open the country up to tourism. Foreigners are being feel encouraged to travel to Saudi Arabia thanks to the easy process the new electronic application system now offers. That is because the eVisa application form can be completed entirely online prior to departure from anywhere in the world. This is means that travelers are no longer required to wait in line at the embassy for a tourist visa, nor spend a long time queueing at the airport for a visa on arrival.
  2. On the other hand, this new system enables the government to streamline and strengthen border checks. The eVisa is uniquely linked to the passport of the visa holder which grants Saudi authorities better control over foreign citizens entering the country.

Who Can Visit to Saudi Arabia with an eVisa?

The application process for the new electronic visa for Saudi Arabia is designed to be quick and straightforward. All citizens from an eligible country holding a valid passport and meeting the other visa requirements are able to complete the application in minutes. Applicants need to provide copies of their passport as well as relevant personal information and have a credit or debit card on hand in order to pay the application fee.

However, not all visas can be applied for online. Long-term visas like work and study permits are unlikely to convert into electronic visas in the near future. These will still need to be applied for in person. The new electronic visa is intended to be used for tourism purposes.