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The ultimate guide to a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa: Everything you need to know

How to Apply: Tourist Visa

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What you need to know

How to apply for your Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa

Last updated: May 2024 Saudi Arabia Makkah Masjid

Planning to go to Saudi Arabia to explore the rich history, landscapes, and culture that attracts a diverse range of travelers. You probably need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa to enter the country.

Yearning to explore the ancient ruins or soak in the beauty of the Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia offers an array of experiences for everyone. But first, you'll need a visa. This guide unpacks everything you need to know about applying for a traditional embassy Tourist Visa for Saudi Arabia.

What is the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

The Tourist Visa is an official travel document issued by the government that allows foreign nationals to visit Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes. Visitors can explore the country's natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern cities with this visa.

What can you do with the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

With the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, you can:

  • Explore the ancient ruins and archaeological sites, such as Madain Saleh.

  • Experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Saudi Arabia.

  • Visit iconic landmarks like the Kingdom Centre Tower in Riyadh or the Jeddah Corniche.

  • Enjoy the breathtaking natural landscapes, including the Red Sea coast and the Empty Quarter desert.

  • Attend cultural festivals and events, such as the Janadriyah Festival.

  • Shop at traditional markets (souks) and modern shopping malls.

  • Indulge in the local cuisine and try traditional Saudi Arabian dishes.

  • Engage in outdoor activities like diving, snorkeling, and hiking.

  • Visit religious sites, such as the Holy City of Mecca (Muslim visa holders only) and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

  • Perform Umrah (Muslim visa holders only), but you cannot leave the country with ZamZam.

What can you not do with the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

With the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, there are certain activities that you are not allowed to engage in. These include:

  • Perform Hajj

  • Undertaking any form of work or employment.

  • Pursuing academic studies or enrolling in educational institutions.

  • Engaging in business activities or establishing a business.

  • Participating in political rallies or demonstrations.

  • Preaching or promoting any religion other than Islam.

  • Violating any Saudi Arabian laws or customs.

  • Overstaying the permitted duration of your visa.

  • Undertaking any form of journalism or media-related activities without proper authorization.

  • Engaging in activities that may be deemed disrespectful or offensive to the local culture and customs.

Can I use the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa to perform Hajj?

No, you can’t perform Hajj using a tourist visa. To complete a Hajj pilgrimage, you need a Hajj Visa.

Who can apply for the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

To apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist visa, individuals from various countries can submit an application. The eligibility criteria and requirements may vary based on nationality and the purpose of travel.

Here are some general guidelines for who can apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist visa:

  • Individuals from visa-required countries: Citizens of countries that require a visa to enter Saudi Arabia can apply for a tourist visa. They need to submit the necessary documentation and meet the specific requirements of the Saudi Arabian authorities.
  • Non-GCC residents: Non-residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), can apply for a tourist visa to visit Saudi Arabia.
  • Business or leisure travelers: The Saudi Arabia tourist visa is available for individuals traveling for tourism, visiting family or friends, attending conferences or events, or engaging in business activities. The specific activities allowed under the tourist visa may be subject to restrictions and regulations.
  • Meeting the visa requirements: Applicants must fulfill the specific visa requirements set by the Saudi Arabian authorities. These include providing a valid passport, completing the visa application form accurately, providing proof of accommodation in Saudi Arabia, showing sufficient financial means to support the trip, and providing additional supporting documents.

Who is eligible for the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

Foreign citizens from over 100 countries must apply for this visa to visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist or to perform Umrah.

Visa exempt: Who doesn't need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

Saudi Arabia does not have a general visa exemption policy for tourists. Most travelers visiting Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes must obtain a visa in advance. However, there are some exceptions and exceptional cases that allow visa-free entry. Here are a few examples:

  1. Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can travel to Saudi Arabia without a visa.

  2. Diplomatic and official passport holders: Holders of diplomatic or official passports from certain countries may be eligible for visa-free travel to Saudi Arabia.

  3. Transit passengers: Travelers who are transiting through Saudi Arabia and have valid onward tickets within 18 hours may be eligible for a transit visa exemption.

It is important to note that these exemptions are subject to change, and verifying the visa requirements based on your nationality and purpose of travel is always recommended.

Do minors need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

Minors require their own Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa to enter the country. When applying for a visa for a minor, legal guardians or parents must provide additional documents such as a copy of the minor's birth certificate, consent letter from both parents or legal guardians, and proof of the minor's relationship to the accompanying adult.

How long is the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa valid for?

The Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa is typically valid for one year from the issue date. It allows multiple entries into the country, with each stay allowed up to 90 days.

Tourists can spend no more than 180 days in Saudi Arabia during the year the visa is valid.

Can I extend my Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

No, as Saudi Arabia does not offer tourist visa extensions. You must leave Saudi Arabia before your visa expires. You will need to apply for another visa to re-enter the country.

Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa requirements

Before applying for a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, an applicant must know the required documents, financial requirements, and entry criteria for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Required Documents

To apply for a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Valid passport: Your passport must have a minimum validity of six months beyond your planned departure date from Saudi Arabia. It should also have at least two blank pages for visa stamping.
  • Completed application form
  • Passport-size photograph: Provide recent passport-size photographs as per the specifications set by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
  • Proof of accommodation: Submit proof of your accommodation arrangements in Saudi Arabia, such as hotel reservations or an invitation letter from your host if you will stay with a resident.
  • Flight itinerary: Provide a copy of your confirmed round-trip flight itinerary. It should demonstrate your entry and exit dates from Saudi Arabia.
  • Financial proof: Show evidence of sufficient funds to cover your expenses in Saudi Arabia. This may include bank statements, credit card statements, or a sponsorship letter if someone else funds your trip.
  • Proof of employment: this can be a job contract or letter from your employer.
  • Travel health insurance: It is recommended to have a travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses and emergencies during your time in Saudi Arabia. While not mandatory, it is highly advisable.

Please note that the Saudi Arabian authorities may request additional documents or information if deemed necessary during the visa application process.

How do I apply for the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

Applying for a traditional Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa requires you to:

  1. Check your eligibility for the traditional tourist visa.
  2. Gather necessary documents and submit the application and documents in person at the nearest Saudi Embassy or Consulate.
  3. Pay the required visa fee.
  4. Attend an interview if it is required by the consulate or embassy.
  5. Wait for the visa to be processed and collect it once approved.

Note: We do not currently offer this visa. For detailed information, visit the official Government Site.

What are the costs and processing times of the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

The visa fee typically ranges between $80 to $120 USD. However, fees can vary based on reciprocal agreements between Saudi Arabia and the applicant's home country.

The processing time for a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa usually ranges from 5 to 15 working days. This can be longer during peak travel seasons or if additional documentation is required.

It’s advisable to contact the nearest Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding visa fees and processing times.

Do I need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa to transit through Saudi Arabia?

If you are transiting through Saudi Arabia, whether you need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa depends on your specific circumstances, including your nationality and the transit duration.

If you have a layover in Saudi Arabia and plan to stay in the airport transit area, you generally do not need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa. However, checking the visa requirements based on your nationality and the specific transit regulations set by the Saudi Arabian authorities is essential. Some nationalities may be eligible for visa-free transit, allowing them to stay in the airport for a particular duration without a visa.

On the other hand, if you have a long layover or plan to exit the airport and explore the country during your transit, you will likely need a Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa. In such cases, applying for a tourist visa in advance is recommended to ensure a smooth transit experience and compliance with immigration regulations.

Entry & exit requirements

Upon entry into Saudi Arabia with a valid tourist visa, travelers are required to:

  • Complete arrival forms: Fill out the necessary arrival forms, typically provided during your flight or at the port of entry.
  • Clear immigration check: Present your valid passport and visa to the immigration authorities and undergo the required immigration checks.
  • Biometric data collection: Provide biometric data, such as fingerprints, at the discretion of the immigration authorities.
  • Comply with customs regulations: Declare any items or goods subject to customs regulations and restrictions upon entry.

It's important to note that entry requirements and procedures may vary, and it is advisable to check the latest information from official sources.

Differences between the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa and the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa

The Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa and the Umrah Visa serve distinct purposes for visiting Saudi Arabia:

  1. Purpose:

    • The Tourist Visa allows for tourism-related activities and visiting landmarks, with the option to perform Umrah.
    • The Umrah Visa is exclusively for those undertaking the Umrah pilgrimage.
  2. Duration of Stay:

    • The Tourist Visa permits stays of up to 90 days per entry.
    • The Umrah Visa typically allows for a stay of up to 30 days.
  3. Travel Restrictions:

    • Tourist Visa holders can travel freely across Saudi Arabia.
    • Umrah Visa holders are restricted to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and face limitations like restrictions on the export of Zam-Zam water.
  4. Availability:

    • The Tourist Visa is accessible to citizens from eligible countries for various purposes, including leisure and religious activities.
    • The Umrah Visa is specifically for religious visits and has restrictions related to the scope of travel within Saudi Arabia.

While we don't offer the traditional tourist visa currently, we do offer the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa, Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa and Saudi Arabia Electronic Visa Waiver to eligible nationalities.

Where can I learn more about Saudi Arabia Tourist Visas?

If you have more questions about the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, contact our customer support team.


How much money should be shown on Bank Statements for the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?
In order to obtain the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, your bank statements must show that you have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of your trip.
Can I use the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa to perform Hajj?
No, you can’t. To perform the Hajj you need a Hajj Visa.
Where can I read more?
Other Available Visas: Saudi Arabia?


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