The Recent Announcement of issuance of Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa to 49 Countries
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced that Saudi Arabia is allowing foreign tourists from 49 countries around the world to visit Saudi Arabia to witness its different tourist places and cultural heritage.
The SCTH stated that launching the tourist visa was one of the targets to prepare the biggest Arab Economy for a Post Oil era and also for achieving objectives set by the Saudi Vision 2030.
No Abaya OR Covering up required for the Foreign Women visiting Saudi Arabia on Tourist Visa
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will also relax the rules of its strict dress code for foreign women visiting Saudi Arabia on the tourist visa, allowing them to go without the Abaya or Cover-up fully that is still mandatory public wear for Saudi women. Read more: Saudi Arabia to issue Tourist Visa within 7 minutes for 49 countries from 28th September 2019
The Saudi Tourist Visa Allows Women To Perform Umrah Without Male Relative
One of the best features of the Saudi tourist visa is that a tourist can perform Umrah by visiting Makkah and pray at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. The other important feature is Women need not be accompanied by a male relative, other than in the Haj season, and there is NO need for a sponsor (kafeel) the way it is required for work visas.
How many countries are allowed to visit Saudi Arabia on a Tourist visa?
The Saudi Authorities have allowed 49 countries initially to visit Saudi Arabia on Tourist Visa. We have mentioned below the names of those countries for the ease of our readers from around the world. Read more: SCTH Announces Saudi Tourist Guides to Speak 11 Languages
Saudi Tourist Visa Application has been classified into 2 groups (Group A & Group B)
The Saudi Authorities have classified the Tourist Visa into 2 Groups i.e. Group A and Group B.
1). Countries Under Group A
The countries classified under Group A (49 countries as mentioned above) can obtain the Saudi Tourist E-Visa through the online procedure or apply for the Saudi Tourist Visa upon arrival in any city at the Saudi Airport.
2). Countries Under Group B
The Countries classified under Group B (other than 49 countries) can obtain the Saudi Tourist Visa through applying and submitting the required documents at the Consulate General of Saudi Embassy in their country of origin. Read more: Top 8 Coldest Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia During Winter Season
Requirements of Saudi Tourist Visa for Group A & Group B
|S.No.||Group A||Group B|
|1||The minimum age of the applicant is 18 years old.||The minimum age of the applicant is 18 years old.|
|2||Underage applicants require an individual above 18 years old to be the guardian.||Underage applicants require an individual above 18 years old to be the guardian.|
|3||When applying, passport validity must be for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia*.||When applying, passport validity must be for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia.|
|4||Refund in case of rejection is not possible. Visa fees are non-refundable.||Refund in case of rejection is not possible, visa fees are non-refundable.|
|5||Overstay fees: SR.100 for each day of overstay, when the visa expires without leaving Saudi Arabia.||Overstay Fees: SAR 100 for each day of overstay, when the visa expires without leaving Saudi Arabia.|
|6||The religion of the applicant is not relevant.||The religion of the applicant is not relevant.|
|7||Countries with bilateral agreements can apply for the visit visa through e-visa or visa on arrival, or through the consulate visa (USA, UK, South Korea, and Japan)||The sponsor is not required for the visa application.|
|8||Documents not required to get a visa:
||Documents required to get a visa:
Supporting information include:
|9||Time taken to issue an e-Visa is 5-30 minutes in most cases.||Time taken to issue an E-Visa is 1-2 business days in most cases.|
|10||Visa eligibility pre-checks are conducted by all airlines before boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.
* For citizens of USA, an extended validity of 6 months after the passport expiry date is permissible for application.
|Visa Pre-checks are conducted by all airlines before boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.|
|11||The visa includes health insurance that covers up to SAR 100,000.||The visa includes health insurance that covers up to SAR 100,000.|
Step by Step Procedure for applying for Saudi Tourist Visa
Use this link to apply for a Saudi tourist visa (Click here).
Once under Step 1 you click on the link, the following screen will appear asking you to Apply Now, press the APPLY NOW BUTTON to proceed to the next step.
Once you press the button “APPLY NOW”, a new screen will appear which will ask you to create your own account before you finally apply for the Tourist E-Visa. Enter your Passport Type, Nationality and the copy the automatic generated code on the blank field below.
Once you create your own account under Step 3, under Step 4 new screen will appear which will ask you to register yourself by entering your name, Nationality, Passport Type, Email, Mobile Number, Secret Question
Once Step 4 is finished, under Step 5 automatic generated code will be sent to the email address as you mentioned above in step 4. Just enter that code here under Step 5.
After the account verification under Step 5, The new screen will appear which will ask you whether you applying for Saudi Tourist Visa as an individual or as a Group of People.
Once step 6 is finished, New Screen will appear under Step 7 which will ask you to enter the detailed information as mentioned below in the screenshot.
Some Clarifications provided below by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) against the Frequently Asked Questions inquired by those applying for the Saudi Tourist visa.
1). Do I need medical insurance to apply for a Saudi Arabia Tourist visit visa?
The visa includes health insurance that covers up to SAR 100,000.
2). Which hospitals are covered by health insurance?
Under “Insurance Policy” on our website you will be able to find the list of hospitals covered by the insurance.
3). How long can I stay in Saudi Arabia as a tourist?
The tourist visa allows you to stay for up to 3 months per entry, spending no more than 180 days/year in Saudi Arabia. If you leave the country past your visa period, you shall pay a penalty of SAR 100 per day.
4). How many times can I enter Saudi Arabia with my visa?
The Saudi Arabia tourist visa is valid for one year with multiple entries.
5). Can I apply for an extension for my Saudi Arabia tourist visa?
The visit visa may not be extended. In order to continue to visit KSA as a tourist, it is necessary to leave the country and apply for a new visit visa.
6). What is the process if I have had a visa?
You need to wait for your visa to expire and re-apply for a new visa.
7). How much will my application for Saudi Arabia visit visa cost?
The cost for a Saudi Arabia visa is 440 SAR, excluding VAT and processing fees for all applicants. The fee breakdown is as follows:
-Visa base fee of 300 SAR
-Health insurance fee of 140 SAR.
-Members of GCC countries do not require visas.
8). Which electronic payment methods (credit card/e-commerce enabled debit cards) are accepted?
MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Union Pay and Apple Pay are accepted.
9). If my visa application was unsuccessful, can I get my fee back?
The payment is non-refundable.
10). Which currencies are accepted?
For e-Visa and Visa on arrival, visa fees should be paid by credit card in Saudi Riyals.
Source: Visit Saudi