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How to get the visa for Saudi Arabia?

by Juan José Herranz | October 27, 2020
Discover how to get visa for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia encompasses a fascinating culture and an extensive history. The archaeological heritage and landscapes will likely leave you breathless in the cradle of Islam, full of symbolism and infinite attractions. Saudi Arabia is home to wonders such as Mecca and the Medina, which are of great prophetic significance.

Other attractions include Madain Saleh and the sophisticated cave art of Jubbah, the Hiyaz railway and the fascinating Riyadh. A visit to Saudi Arabia will be full of different sensations after exploring the mysterious streets, enjoying the culture and delighting in the cuisine. However, when travelling in Saudi Arabia you must be respectful of its traditions at all times.

To visit this unique and beautiful country, you're going to need a visa. Here you will discover how to get visa for Saudi Arabia, the requirements and application process.

Do I need a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia?

Yes, anyone traveling to Saudi Arabia, for any reason, will need to know how to get a visa for Saudi Arabia (Electronic Visa).

The most common visa is the tourist visa, to which more than 50 countries have access. This visa will be valid for 1 year and allows a maximum stay of 90 days. This visa requires you to take out medical insurance with a company in the country.

The Mecca and worshippers in Saudi Arabia

Types of visas

Almost every tourist will need to know how to get visa for Saudi Arabia before traveling. However, the specific visa that you will need to apply for will depend on your reason for entering the country.

Tourist eVisa

This is the most common visa requested for entry to Saudi Arabia. It is an online tourist visa, valid for 1 year and allowing multiple entries. This visa allows you to stay in the country up to 90 days. These 90 days can be consecutive or in several times.

Once you have spent the full 90 days in the country, you must leave, and you will not be able to re-enter until at least 180 days have passed. This visa will entitle you to a visit Mecca and Medina even if you are not a Muslim. Nevertheless, it won't allow you to work or study in Saudi Arabia.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany children under 16 years of age. The Tourist eVisa is also valid to visit relatives, events, leisure and Umrah. Any applicant may indicate any of the above reasons, except the Umrah, which is reserved exclusively for Muslims. A visit to Umrah cannot be requested during the Hajj period.

Business Visa

This visa is applicable to enter Saudi Arabia for business purposes only. It is relevant for business people, investors, managers, or representatives of a company from outside of the country. This visa can only be applied for at the Saudi Arabian consulate or embassy nearest to you.

Hajj Visa

This visa is for pilgrims only. Hajj visas are issued from October (Mid-Shawwal) to 25 November (Dhual-Qa'dah) each year. The application must be made at a Saudi consulate. Muslim women cannot travel to Saudi Arabia alone, they must have a close male relative, aged 18 or older, to go with them.

Muslim women over age 45 may travel with a group of women of that age or older, if they are bringing a male group leader. Non-Muslim women do not have this restriction. They can travel alone or accompanied by whomever they wish.

How to get a visa for Saudi Arabia for Al-Balad in Jeddah

How do I apply for a Saudi visa?

If you want to apply for Hajj or Business visas, you can only process them at the consulate or embassy nearest to your place of residence.

If you are applying for a tourism visa, Umrah, events, leisure or family visits, you can apply online for the Saudi Arabia visa. can process it for you so you don't have to worry about anything. You can apply just by filling out a simple form, and in 24/48h you will have your outcome on the visa in your email.

Who needs to know how to get visa for Saudi Arabia?

Tourists from over 50 countries need to know how to get a visa for Saudi Arabia online. If you are not eligible for the online Saudi Arabia visa programme, you should contact your nearest embassy. 

What are the requirements to apply for a visa to Saudi Arabia?

The main requirement to apply for the e-Visa (online visa) is to be from a nationality eligible for the programme. If so, you must learn how to get visa for Saudi Arabia.

You must have a valid passport with an expiry date of more than 6 months from your entry to the country. You will also need to attach a recent colour passport photo and have a credit card to pay the fees.

When you apply for a visa, the Arab government will require you to take out medical insurance with one of the Saudi Arabian companies, in case you have any medical problems that may arise during your stay in the country.

palm trees and sun in Saudi Arabia

Can I change my Saudi Arabian visa once it has been processed?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to make changes to an application once it has been paid for unless the Saudi government finds a mistake or asks for an attachment to be changed. You will only be able to modify an error found by the government, and will not be entitled to make modifications if the Saudi government does not request it. If you have made a mistake and want to modify it, you will have to contact the Saudi Arabian government directly.

If you have a visa which is currently valid, then you will not be able to apply for a new visa.

How much does a visa to Saudi Arabia cost?

The government costs for the eVisa are SAR 354 plus SAR 130 for compulsory health insurance. All fees must be paid before sending the visa form. Once the process has been completed, you will receive an answer from the government by email within a few days. The price in euros varies every day, due to the fluctuation of the value of the Saudi Riyal. The average equivalent is SAR 354 = EUR 80 // SAR 130 = EUR 30.

If you intend to deal directly with the Saudi government, either online or in person, you must pay in SAR. If you want to process the visa with an external company like, then you can pay in your own local currency.

How far in advance do I need to apply for a Saudi Arabian visa?

The eVisa should not take more than 5-7 working days. There is an option for selecting an express visa which has a processing time of 1-2 business days. It is still advisable to apply for a Saudi visa at least 15 days before your entry to the country. This will avoid any last-minute mishaps, or delays if you have to send any additional documentation requested by government authorities.

mountain Al Hada in Taif in Saudi Arabia

What are the entry borders of Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has 13 international airports and 15 national airports throughout the country. However, it is important to note that not all of these airports allow eVisa holders to enter the country. Only a few specific airports are equipped to handle the influx of foreign tourists with eVisas. The airports where you can land with an eVisa are:

  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH) - Riyadh.
  • King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) - Jeddah.
  • King Fahd International (DMM) - Dammam.
  • Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International (MED) - Madinah.

In addition to these international airports, it is also possible to enter the country with an online visa (e-Visa) through various land entry checkpoints. This allows tourists staying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Bahrain to enter Saudi Arabia by road.

  • From Bahrain: Access to Saudi Arabia from Bahrain is possible through the King Fahd Bridge border checkpoint. This will allow you to enter Arabia through the city of Khobar, less than 50km from Dammam. You must present your passport, eVisa and any other identification documents required by the guards.
  • From the United Arab Emirates: From the UAE, it is possible to enter Saudi Arabia through the Al Batha border crossing. This is on the western border of the UAE, approximately 500km south east of Riyadh.