Saturday October 16, 2021

updated - October 16, 2021 Saturday EDT

Is the Saudi Tourist Visa Open Now?

Oct 07, 2021 05:19 PM EDT | By David Thompson
Is the Saudi Tourist Visa Open Now?
(Photo : Photo by Haidan on Unsplash)

Saudi Arabia sits on one of the most important and oft-used pieces of land on Earth. Humans have been traversing the deserts from sea to sea, utilizing the strategic landbridge for millennia.

That, along with the difficult circumstances surrounding the pandemic, is what made the closing of the international borders in Saudi Arabia so hard for people to wrap their heads around. Unfortunately, along with most other countries in the world, it was a necessary measure that was taken by the Saudi government to stem the tide of the advancing virus.

Thankfully, a year and a half after its borders were closed, Saudi Arabia reopened its borders and began issuing the Saudi Arabia tourist eVisa.

So, if you are planning to visit Saudi Arabia, read on to find out all the pertinent details for successfully applying for and receiving your eVisa for Saudi Arabia.

What Exactly Is the eVisa for Saudi Arabia?

eVisas function similarly to a traditional visa, only designed and updated for the modern, digital world. The Saudi Arabia eVisa is applied for and issued entirely online, meaning there is no need for travelers to visit a consulate or embassy.

Applicants fill out forms, pay an application fee, and provide documentation and information such as their passport number, telephone number, date of birth, etc. Afterward, they only need to wait a few days for a response directly to their email.

This cuts down the processing time, meaning potential visitors can start exploring Saudi Arabia's top destinations much sooner.

Who Is Eligible for an eVisa for Saudi Arabia?

Unfortunately, not every country's citizens can apply for the eVisa for Saudi Arabia. However, there is good news for people from 49 countries who have already begun exploring flight options to Riyadh and who have started researching the best things to do in Riyadh.

Among those 49 countries are the Schengen Member nations that form the vast majority of the European Union. Also included are the United Kingdom, The United States of America, Canada, Australia, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Montenegro, Monaco, San Marino, Ireland, Ukraine, and New Zealand.

The other eligible countries include China, Brunei, South Korea, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Japan.

So, if you are from one of the aforementioned countries and are planning a trip to some of the most interesting places in the Middle East, you can easily include Saudi Arabia on the itinerary knowing that the visa application process will be a breeze.  

You Have Secured an eVisa for Saudi Arabia, Now What?

After your application has been submitted and reviewed, you will receive a response directly to your email address. If a response has not come through after a few days, be sure to check your spam box in case it does not recognize the sender.

Once you have received a positive response, it is necessary to print out a hard copy of the official eVisa and carry it with your other important documents. This is just in case border officials at your Saudi Arabian port of entry want to double-check that their information matches yours.

Do not pack the printout in your checked luggage as you never know what could happen en route to your destination. This is even more critical if you have one or more stopovers from your country of origin.

In fact, when making a packing list, consider the hard copy of your eVisa as essential as any other item in your carry-on luggage.

Even after entering Saudi Arabia, it is recommended that you keep your hard copy. You may be asked for it on your way out of Saudi Arabia, so be sure to keep it in a safe place.

How Long Can You Stay in Saudi Arabia on an eVisa?

Once August 1st, 2021 passed and the Saudi government decided to begin issuing eVisas again, travelers started planning their trips.

A huge factor in organizing an itinerary is how long you are allowed to stay inside of the country. Each nation has its own peculiarities. Familiarizing yourself with all of the nuances is a key aspect of responsibly traveling.

In the case of the Saudi Arabian eVisa, it is one of the more flexible options, providing travelers the freedom to create their own unique trip. Each visitor is allowed to stay inside of Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days, including their day of arrival and day of departure.

What is even more user-friendly, is that those 90 days do not have to be used during a single trip and can, in fact, be spread over multiple entries. This means that if your trip includes multiple countries, you can leave Saudi Arabia and return without applying for a brand new eVisa, provided that your original stay did not exceed 90 days.

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