Essential Saudi Arabia Visa guide for a smooth trip

Wednesday 6 Mar 2024

If you are planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, it is essential that you are aware of the country's visa requirements. Keep reading to discover all the essential information that will ensure your visa application process goes through smoothly and without any hiccups. We will provide you with important information such as the different visa options available, eligibility criteria, application process and required fees.

 Essential Saudi Arabia Visa


Travel visas to Saudi Arabia

Tourist Visa

Saudi Arabia is becoming more open to tourism - a tourist visa gives many nationalities the opportunity to explore the greatness of the Kingdom. The Saudi tourist visa was first launched in 2019. Within ten days of its implementation, approximately 24,000 foreign visitors entered Saudi Arabia, the majority of whom were from China, the United Kingdom, and the United States.



Until 2024, citizens of 63 countries are eligible to apply for a Saudi tourist visa, either online or upon arrival at selected airports. Before applying, your passport must be valid and have at least 6 months remaining after the end of your intended period of stay.


The Saudi tourist visa offers many advantages for entertainment seekers and culture lovers. The “single entry” tourist visa allows one entry into Saudi Arabia and a stay of up to 30 days. There is also a “multiple entry” visa, which grants tourists multiple entries into the Kingdom within a year, with each stay not exceeding 90 days. The process of applying for a tourist visa is simple – you can do it easily and conveniently online!

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

Visit the official website for Saudi e-Visas and follow the steps.

Select "Register" and create an account.

Select “Tourist Visa” and “Individual Application”.

Fill out the application form, upload the necessary documents (copy of passport, photo, etc.), and pay the visa fee.

Once approved, download and print the e-Visa.

If you are unable to apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist visa online, you may be able to apply upon your arrival at selected airports in Saudi Arabia – this option is only eligible for some nationalities.


Work visa

Before 2019, business travel to Saudi Arabia relied heavily on sponsorship visas, which had limited access and little flexibility. The introduction of the work visa is a move that is consistent with Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia's ambitious economic diversification plan.

Saudi Arabia's thriving economy and unique business opportunities make it an attractive destination for international companies and entrepreneurs. However, obtaining the correct visa is essential for a successful business visit. Anyone traveling to Saudi Arabia for practical purposes, such as attending meetings, negotiating contracts, or participating in conferences, needs a work visa – this can include company representatives, consultants, and independent contractors.



-You must be a citizen of a visa-eligible country.

- You must have a valid purpose for your visit for business purposes – this could be to attend meetings, negotiate contracts, participate in conferences, explore potential partnerships, or conduct business activities.

-You must have a valid passport with a validity of at least 6 months after the intended date of stay.

- You must have a Saudi sponsor - this company will be your official sponsor.

- You must meet financial requirements – this involves proving that you have sufficient funds to cover your accommodation and business expenses.

Types of work visas:

Single visit visa – valid for one visit for up to 30 days, ideal for short-term business trips such as conferences or meetings.

Multiple-visit visa – allows you to have multiple visits during its validity period (usually one year), with a maximum stay of 90 days per visit, suitable for ongoing business activities or collaboration on projects.

Business visit visa – issued specifically to attend conferences, exhibitions or trade missions, often has a limited validity and duration based on the event.

Business Visa - Designed for individuals who establish business partnerships, establish companies, or conduct commercial activities within the Kingdom


Before applying for a Saudi work visa, you must determine the type of visa that is most suitable for your business trip to Saudi Arabia. Carefully evaluate your business needs and the activities you will undertake to choose the most appropriate visa. After that, you can follow these steps:

Obtain a sponsorship letter from your Saudi sponsor specifying the purpose of your visit, length of stay and financial responsibility.

Prepare all required documents such as invitation letter, valid passport and financial proof.

Submit your application through Saudi visa website with supporting documents.

Pay the applicable visa fees through the website.

Allow 5-10 business days for processing (may be longer during peak periods).


A work visa in Saudi Arabia is cheaper than a single-entry or multiple-visit visa - approximately 330 Saudi riyals (88 USD).


Umrah visa

Umrah is a sacred journey for Muslims around the world, allowing them to perform certain rituals in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. To participate in this spiritual journey, you will need a special visa called an Umrah visa.

Almost all nationalities require an Umrah visa to enter Saudi Arabia for Hajj purposes, but there are some exceptions. Citizens of some countries, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, may be eligible for visa-free entry or a visa on arrival for Umrah purposes.



To obtain an Umrah visa, you will first need a valid passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended date of stay in Saudi Arabia. You will also need a clean criminal record with no convictions for serious crimes, proof of meningitis and other mandatory vaccinations, and comprehensive travel insurance that is valid for your stay. It is also important to join an approved Umrah service provider – this is mandatory.

Application process:

Choose an approved Umrah service provider. Consider contacting a licensed Umrah service provider who will submit the visa application on your behalf.

Provide your passport, proof of vaccination, travel insurance details, and any additional documents requested by the Umrah service provider.

The service provider will submit your request to the Saudi authorities.

 p Pay the Umrah visa fee - the fee will vary depending on your nationality and the visa period.

Once approved, you will receive your visa electronically. It is important that you have this document printed at border control.


If you are traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, it is important that you fly to designated arrival airports for Umrah such as Jeddah or Medina. For a stress-free Umrah experience, we recommend applying for an Umrah visa in advance, especially during peak Umrah seasons.


Hajj visa

Millions of Muslims around the world dream of performing the Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. But in order to be able to fulfill this spiritual obligation, you will need to obtain a Hajj visa.



You must be a practicing Muslim to apply for a Hajj visa.

You must be at least 18 years old and in good physical and mental health to endure the challenges of Hajj.

If you are a Umrah pilgrim under the age of 45, you must be accompanied by a male guardian throughout the trip.


There are two types of Hajj visas – individual Hajj visa and group Hajj visa. The Individual Hajj Visa is ideal for pilgrims traveling independently or through private travel agencies. The Hajj group visa is suitable for pilgrims traveling with approved Hajj groups or tour companies.

Application process:

Register with the Hajj delegation in your country or an authorized travel agent.

Waiting to be selected through a quota system – this can be a competitive process so early registration is preferred.

Submit required documents such as your passport, vaccination certificates, guardian’s documents (if applicable) and pay Hajj visa fees.

Once you arrive in Saudi Arabia, you can collect your Hajj visa from the Saudi Arabia embassy or consulate.


If you are looking for flights to Hajj, you can book your flights directly here at Alternative Airlines.


Other visas

Tourist visa, work visa, Umrah and Hajj visas are the most common visa types for people traveling to Saudi Arabia. However, there are several other types of visas you can apply for that cover unique situations:


family visit visa saudi Arabia - allows you to visit family members living in Saudi Arabia. Requires sponsorship from a resident family member and proof of your relationship.


Companion visa - allows spouses and dependent children of individuals holding work visas to live in Saudi Arabia.

Personal Visitor Visa - used for private visits by individuals other than family members. Requires a letter of invitation from the host and proof of financial support.


Student Visa - allows international students to enroll in educational institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Requires acceptance from a Saudi university and proof of financial stability.


Government Visa - Issued to individuals invited by the Saudi government for official purposes.


Diplomatic and official visas - issued to foreign diplomats and their families, in addition to officials in international organizations operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Transit visa - allows travelers to pass through Saudi Arabia on their way to their final destination.


Work visa - allows you to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and requires a sponsorship form from a Saudi worker in addition to approval from the Ministry of Labor.


Residency visa – allows you to live and work in Saudi Arabia for an extended period. It can be obtained through work, investment, or marriage to a Saudi citizen.


Premium Residence Visa – Provides a faster path to residency and gives you benefits such as property ownership and multiple visas.

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