Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism announced a new Ministerial Decree that will allow faster, easier access to the country. New regulations will enable Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents the option to apply for an e-Visa through Visit Saudi’s online portal. Moreover, residents of the UK, the US, and the EU can apply for a visa on arrival.
Holders of a valid tourist or business visa from the UK, US or one of the Schengen agreement countries will continue to be applicable for a visa on arrival, provided the tourist or business visa has been used at least once to enter the country.
The e-Visa will be a one-year, multiple entry visa, allowing tourists to spend up to 90 days in the Kingdom. It covers tourism-related activities and Umrah (excluding Haj season) and excludes other activities such as studying.
The new decree also no longer requires visitors to visit the country’s embassy before entering Saudi Arabia, allowing potential travelers a more simplified journey.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, said, “Elevating the visitor experience is at the heart of the tourism sector’s future. Through harnessing digital innovation and streamlining the traveller journey, Saudi Arabia is welcoming more and more visitors from all corners of the globe.”
Travelers from 48 countries are eligible to apply for the visa; including Canada, the USA, Switzerland, the UK, China, Singapore, Australia, and South Korea. However, South Asian countries India and Pakistan are not on the list of countries eligible for the e-Visa.
List of Eligible Countries
- United States
- San Marino
- South Korea
- China (including Honk Kong and Macau)
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom