Everything you need to know about applying for the new Saudi Arabia electronic tourist visa.
Saudi Arabia is finally open for tourists! As of September 27th, 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now issuing electronic tourist visas for citizens of 49 countries.
In the past, it has been extremely difficult to visit Saudi Arabia as a non-Muslim tourist. Tourist visas were only granted to a few select ‘influencers’ and people attending special events.
Luckily for us adventurous travellers, Saudi Arabia is finally beginning to open up for tourism.
Travellers from certain eligible countries can apply for an tourist visa (eVisa) online or at visa kiosks at certain international airports in Saudi Arabia.
People from other countries can still get a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia, but they need to apply at their nearest Saudi Arabia Embassy.
Who can apply for a Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa?
Currently, citizens of 49 different countries are eligible for the electronic tourist visa. Here’s the current list:
- North America – Canada, United States
- Europe – Switzerland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Monaco, Andorra, Russia, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia
- Asia – Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, China (including Hong Kong, Macao), Taiwan
- Oceania – Australia, New Zealand
If your country isn’t yet on the list you won’t be able to get an e-visa, but you can still apply for a tourist visa at your nearest Saudi Arabia Embassy.
How much does the tourist visa cost?
The electronic tourist visa definitely isn’t the cheapest one around. Here’s a breakdown of the visa cost:
- Visa Fee – 300 SAR ($80)
- Insurance Fee – 133 SAR ($35)
- VAT (5%) – 22 SAR ($6)
- Transaction Fee – 8.44 SAR ($2)
So, the total cost of the tourist visa comes out to 463.44 SAR or $124.
I haven’t been able to confirm what the tourist visa will cost if applied for at an embassy, but I would imagine that it’ll be similar to the e-visa cost.
How long is the tourist visa valid for?
Good news – the visa has a pretty great validity period. The tourist visa is valid for 1-year from its date of issue, and has a period of stay of up to 180 days, on the condition of 90 days maximum per entry.
For most tourists, I think that this should be plenty of time to travel all around Saudi Arabia 🙂
Where can you enter Saudi Arabia from?
I couldn’t find this exact info on the website for the e-visa, so I went ahead and sent them an email asking about it.
I received a reply stating that the tourist visa is currently valid for entry at the following land borders and airports:
- King Fahad Land Port (This is the border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain)
- Batha Land Port (This is the border crossing between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates)
- King Khalid International Airport (RUH, Riyadh Airport )
- King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED, Jeddah Airport)
- Prince Mohamed ban Abdul-Aziz International Airport (MED, Medina Airport)
- King Fahad International Airport (DMM, Dammam Airport)
It’s possible that in the future they’ll open up more border crossings to the tourist visa, but this is currently what is allowed.
Saudi Arabia eVisa Application Process
Here’s the official website where you can apply for the tourist visa. First you’ll need to register for an account. The site will send you a confirmation via email when you register. If you don’t get the email, be sure to check your spam folder.
Now that you’ve registered an account, you can apply for the electronic tourist visa.
All you need for the application is:
- Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months from date of entry to Saudi Arabia)
- 200 x 200 pixel passport-style photo (size must be from 3 to 100 Kb and .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, or .bmp)
- An address in Saudi Arabia (hotel or relative that you’ll stay with)
With everything ready, simply go through the straightforward application on the website. You’ll first upload your photo and fill in some personal info, agree to the mandatory insurance fee, agree to the terms and conditions of the eVisa, and finally, make the payment.
For the payment, the site accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Union Pay.
After submitting your application, it will go under review. My application was approved after only 10 minutes and I had the e-visa in my inbox right away. According to the official e-visa website, processing times are anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa Wrap-Up
So, that’s all you need to know about getting the new Saudi Arabia tourist visa! I have my trip coming up in November, so I’ll be sharing a lot of content from the Kingdom during and after my visit.
If you’d like to follow along on my Saudi Arabia adventures, check out my Instagram and subscribe to the blog 🙂