Saudi Arabia has increased its visa categories and quickly boosted its tourism industry. Included in this is the eVisa for tourism, which is offered to travellers from 49 different nations.
Along with the new tourist visas, Saudi Arabia also offers special visas for families, people looking for work, investors, and those seeking medical care there.
Visitors may apply for this visa via either the official Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) visa portal, visa.mofa.gov.sa, or the eVisa platform for tourists, visa.visitsaudi.com.
Make sure your passport is still valid for at least six months before applying for the visa. If not, you won’t be qualified.
There are six different types of visit visas available in Saudi Arabia, according to the nation’s official www.my.gov.sa unified government service portal.
So, here is a list of the visas that are available for tourists and visitors in Saudi Arabia, whether you are travelling there for a family visit or a business trip.
1. Transit visa
The transit visa enables travel through Saudi Arabia and is valid for brief stays of more than 12 hours.
According to my.gov.sa, obtaining a transit visa for Saudi Arabia involves filling out an online application at visa.mofa.gov.sa, the MOFA e-portal. All applicants, regardless of nationality, are eligible.
Estimated cost: SR300 (Dh293). This includes health insurance, which is mandatory for tourists in Saudi Arabia.
2. Tourist visa
Through its eVisa platform, Saudi Arabia has made it simpler in recent years for travellers to visit the nation. Through this online resource, applicants can apply for a visa and have it issued in a matter of minutes. Visas for tourists fall into one of three categories:
A. eVisa or visa on arrival for tourists:
Only three particular groups are eligible for an electronic visa or a visa on arrival for tourists:
- Visitors travelling from 49 eligible countries.
- Citizens of the US, UK, and EU who have obtained permanent residency (EU).
- Holders of tourist or business visas from the UK, US or Schengen Area.
Estimated cost: SR480 (Dh469). This includes health insurance, which is mandatory for tourists in Saudi Arabia.
B. eVisa for GCC residents:
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations’ citizens can also apply for a Saudi eVisa. Only a few professions, nevertheless, are eligible to qualify for an eVisa.
GCC citizens must use the eVisa website visa.mofa.gov.sa to submit an application for a visa.
Estimated cost: SR300 Saudi riyals (Dh293), along with the health insurance fee.
C. Consulate visa
If the Saudi eVisa is not available to you, you can apply for a Saudi tourist visa at the Saudi embassy in your nation of residence.
Individuals need to submit additional documentation, including a recent bank statement, evidence of work, a return ticket booked, and proof of accommodation in Saudi Arabia, according to visitsaudi.com, the country’s official tourism website.
Estimated cost: Around SR460 (Dh449) – however, this is an estimated cost, and you may have to pay extra charges depending on your duration of stay, as it affects your health insurance cost, too.
3. Family visit visa
You can apply for a Family Visit Visa if you want to travel to Saudi Arabia to see family members. Your travel must be sponsored by a family member who lives in Saudi Arabia, and who will submit your application to MOFA using their visa site, mofa.gov.sa. This visa is only available to first-degree relatives, such as spouses, parents, or children.
Estimated cost: SR200 (Dh195)
4. Work Visit Visa
Saudi Arabia’s MOFA also issues a work visit visa, and it is divided into two categories:
- Individual visits
- Sectors and Organisations visits
There are requirements for this visa that you must fulfil, such as possessing an original letter of sponsorship from a Saudi company or a certified and notarized copy of the applicant’s university degree or diploma that has been authenticated by Saudi officials.
However, depending on the details of your application, the requirements for the visa can change, and MOFA might ask you for additional documentation to confirm your credentials.
Estimated cost: SR300 (Dh293).
5. Business Visit Visa
Visitors who wish to travel to Saudi Arabia on business may do so with this visa. However, in order to obtain this visa, you must be invited by and sponsored by a Saudi organisation. This visa is only given to people who meet particular professional requirements, claims my.gov.sa. According to MOFA, the application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Estimated cost: SR500 (Dh488)
6. Medical Treatment Visa
Visitors who wish to get medical care at Saudi hospitals must apply for a medical treatment visa, which is provided by MOFA. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health must issue an official letter as one of the requirements for this visa.
Estimated cost: SR200 (Dh195)