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Two passports on top of a map of Saudi Arabia

A Guide to Visas for Saudi Arabia | Travel Advice

Planning a trip to Saudi Arabia? Before you pack your bags and book your flights, it’s vital to understand the country’s visa requirements. Keep reading to find out all of the critical information you need to guarantee a smooth and hassle-free visa application process. We’ll cover important information like the different visa options available, eligibility criteria, application process and fees.

Saudi Arabia Travel Visas

Tourist Visa

Saudi Arabia is becoming more open to tourism - the tourist visa makes it possible for many nationalities to experience the greatness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian tourist visa was first introduced in 2019. Only ten days after it was first implemented, around 24,000 foreign visitors entered Saudi Arabia, most of which were from China, the UK and the US.


As of 2024, citizens of 63 countries are eligible to apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist visa, either online or on arrival at select airports. Before you apply, you must have a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining beyond your intended stay.


The Saudi Arabian tourist visa has many advantages for leisure seekers and culture enthusiasts. The ‘Single Entry’ tourist visa allows one entry into Saudi Arabia with stays for up to 30 days, but there’s also the ‘Multiple Entry’ tourist visa, granting tourists multiple entries into the Kingdom within a year and each stay not exceeding 90 days. It’s a simple process to apply for a tourist visa - you can do it quickly and conveniently online!

Application process:

To apply for a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia, the quickest option is to do it online. You can do this by visiting the official Saudi eVisa website.

  1. Visit the official Saudi eVisa website and follow the steps.
  2. Choose "Register" and create an account.
  3. Select "Tourist Visa" and "Individual application".
  4. Fill out the application form, upload the necessary documents (passport copy, photo, etc.), and pay the visa fee.
  5. Once approved, download and print the eVisa.

If you’re unable to apply for a Saudi eVisa online, you may be able to apply once arriving at designated airports in Saudi Arabia - this option is only eligible for certain nationalities.


  • SAR 440 (USD $117) for a single-entry tourist visa that is valid for up to 3 months from the date of issuance, with a 30-day stay permitted.
  • SAR 535 (USD $143) for a multiple-entry tourist visa that is valid one year from the date of issuance, with a 90-day stay allowed per visit.
A man wandering through Saudi Arabian desert

Business Visa

Before 2019, business travel to Saudi Arabia largely relied on sponsorship visas that had limited accessibility and flexibility. The introduction of the business visa is a move that aligns with Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic diversification plan.

Saudi Arabia’s booming economy and unique business opportunities make it an attractive destination for international companies and entrepreneurs. However, securing the correct visa is essential for a successful business visit. Anyone travelling to Saudi Arabia for business purposes, such as attending meetings, negotiating contracts or participating in conferences, requires a business visa - this can include company representatives, consultants and independent contractors.


  • You need to be a citizen of a visa-eligible country.
  • You need to have a valid purpose for your business visit - this could be to attend meetings, negotiate contracts, participate in conferences, explore potential partnerships or carry out commercial activities.
  • You need to have a valid passport with at least 6 months beyond your intended stay.
  • You need to be sponsored by a Saudi company - this company will act as your official guarantor.
  • You need to meet financial requirements - this involves demonstrating that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay and business expenses.

Types of Business Visas:

  • Single-entry visa - this is valid for a single visit with a maximum stay of 30 days, ideal for short-term business trips like conferences or meetings.
  • Multiple-entry visa - this allows you multiple visits within its validity period (typically one year), with a maximum stay of 90 days per visit, suitable for ongoing business activities or project collaborations.
  • Business visit visa - this is issued specifically for attending conferences, exhibitions, or trade missions, often with limited validity and duration based on the event.
  • Commercial visa - this is designed for individuals establishing business partnerships, setting up companies, or conducting commercial activities within the Kingdom.

Before you apply for a Saudi Arabian business visa, you need to identify which visa type is most appropriate for your business trip to Saudi Arabia. Carefully evaluate your business needs and activities to choose the most suitable visa. After this, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Obtain a sponsorship letter from your Saudi sponsor outlining the purpose of your visit, duration of stay and financial responsibility.
  2. Prepare all of your required documents such as your invitation letter, valid passport and financial proof.
  3. Submit your application through the official Saudi visa website with your supporting documents.
  4. Pay the applicable visa fee through the website.
  5. Allow 5-10 working days for processing (potentially longer during peak seasons).


The Saudi Arabia business visa is cheaper than a standard single-entry or multiple-entry visa - it’s roughly SAR 330 (USD $88).

Financial district in Riyadh

Umrah Visa

The Umrah pilgrimage is a sacred journey for Muslims around the world, allowing them to perform specific rituals in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. To take part in this spiritual journey, you'll need a special visa called the Umrah Visa.

Almost all nationalities require an Umrah Visa to enter Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage purposes, however, there are some exceptions. Citizens of certain countries, like those in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), may be eligible for visa-free entry or visa on arrival for Umrah.


To be eligible for an Umrah visa, you’ll first need a valid passport with at least 6 months beyond your intended stay in Saudi Arabia. You’ll also need a clean criminal record with no convictions for serious offences, proof of vaccination against Meningitis and other mandatory vaccines and comprehensive travel insurance that is valid for your stay. It’s also important to join an authorised Umrah package provider - this is mandatory.

Application process:

  1. Choose an authorised Umrah service provider. Consider contacting a licensed Umrah service provider who will handle the visa application on your behalf.
  2. Provide your passport, proof of vaccination, travel insurance details and any additional documents requested by the Umrah service provider.
  3. The service provider will submit your application to the Saudi authorities.
  4. Pay the Umrah visa fee - the fee will vary depending on your nationality and visa duration.
  5. Once approved, you’ll receive your visa electronically. It’s important to have this printed for border control.

If you’re flying to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, it’s important to fly into designated Umrah arrival airports like Jeddah or Medina. For a stress-free Umrah experience, we recommend applying for your Umrah visa well in advance, especially during peak Umrah seasons.

Pullman ZamZam Tower in Mecca

Hajj Visa

Millions of Muslims worldwide dream of performing the Hajj pilgrimage, a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. But to be able to fulfil this spiritual obligation, you’ll need to secure a Hajj visa.


  • You must be a practising Muslim to apply for the Hajj visa.
  • You must be at least 18 years old and in good physical and mental health to be able to withstand the challenges of the pilgrimage.
  • If you’re a female pilgrim under 45, you must be accompanied by a male Mahram (guardian) throughout the journey.

There are two types of Hajj visas - the individual Hajj visa and the group Hajj visa. The individual Hajj visa is ideal for pilgrims travelling independently or through private travel agencies. The group Hajj visa is suitable for pilgrims travelling with authorised Hajj groups or tour operators.

Application process:

  1. Register with your country’s Hajj mission or authorised travel agent.
  2. Wait for selection through the quota system - this can be a competitive process so early registration is advised.
  3. Submit the required documents such as your passport, vaccination certificates, Mahram documentation (if applicable) and payment for the Hajj visa fee.
  4. Once you arrive in Saudi Arabia, you can collect your Hajj visa from the Saudi embassy or consulate.

If you're looking for flights to Hajj, you can book your flights right here at Alternative Airlines.

Kaaba, Mecca

Other Visas

The tourist visa, business visa, and Umrah and Hajj visas, are the most popular visa types for people travelling to Saudi Arabia. However, there are several other types of visas you can apply for that cover unique situations:

  • Family visit visa - this allows you to visit family members who are living in Saudi Arabia. It requires sponsorship from a resident family member and proof of your relationship.
  • Companion visa - this allows spouses and dependents of individuals holding work visas to live in Saudi Arabia.
  • Personal visit visa - this is for private visits to individuals other than family members. It requires an invitation letter from the host and proof of financial support.
  • Student visa - this allows international students to attend educational institutions in Saudi Arabia. It requires acceptance from a Saudi university and proof of financial stability.
  • Government visa - this is issued to individuals who are invited by the Saudi government for official purposes.
  • Diplomatic and official visas - these are issued to foreign diplomats and their families, as well as officials of international organisations working in Saudi Arabia.
  • Transit visa - this visa allows travellers to pass through Saudi Arabia on their way to another destination.
  • Employment visa - this lets you work in Saudi Arabia and requires a sponsorship form from a Saudi employer as well as approval from the Ministry of Labour.
  • Residence visa - this allows you to live and work in Saudi Arabia for an extended period. It can be obtained through employment, investment or marriage to a Saudi citizen.
  • Premium residency visa - this offers a faster track to residency and gives you benefits like property ownership and multi-entry visas.

Ready to visit Saudi Arabia?

So, whether you're planning to visit Saudi Arabia for leisure, business or spiritual fulfilment, there's a visa waiting to welcome you into the Kingdom. Remember, choosing the right visa is key, and applying early means you can have a smooth journey without any hiccups.

Start to explore your visa options, prepare essential documents and get ready to experience the trip of a lifetime to Saudi Arabia.

Other useful Saudi Arabia guides:

If you're thinking about booking flights to Saudi Arabia, take a look at our other helpful guides:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a Saudi Arabia visa for US citizens?
Yes, US citizens are eligible to apply for a visa to visit Saudi Arabia. There are several visas to choose from - tourist, business, Hajj and Umrah, employment and residency visas are available. It's important to apply for the correct visa that is most suitable for your reason to visit Saudi Arabia. For example, if you are a US citizen who wishes to explore Saudi Arabia as a tourist, you need to apply for a tourist visa.

Can I get a Saudi Arabia visa on arrival?
Yes, you can receive a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia if you meet certain requirements. You must be a citizen of one of the countries listed on the official 'visa on arrival' list (which includes the United States), you must hold a valid passport, you must have a return ticket or proof of onward travel and you must have sufficient funds for your stay in Saudi Arabia.

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