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Updated 2 weeks ago

Do you intend to travel to Saudi Arabia? Have you been approved? What does it entail? Find out in this article.

Saudi Arabia is selective in its acceptance of visitors. Thus if you are one of the lucky ones to get to visit Saudi Arabia, you will be invited into the country under one of the many visa allowances. There are many laws and regulations that authorize whether or not foreigners are authorized to settle there.

However, the country still attracts millions of foreigners annually. With the economy rapidly developing, companies, schools, and ventures are seeking talent globally, offering expats attractive opportunities to live/work in Saudi Arabia.

Many foreigners also have the ability to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage to visit the holy sites.

Types of visas

When looking to travel to Saudi Arabia, one of the following visas may apply to your stay.

  • Business Visa
  • Work or Residence Visa
  • Transit Visa
  • Family Visit Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Visa Extension
  • Service Visa
  • Religious Visa

 Good to know:

It has been recently announced that Saudi Arabia will be introducing a Tourism Visa, which will allow for tourists to visit the country. The details have yet to be confirmed.

 Important:

Visas for both long and short stays in the country need to be authorized by the Ministry of Interiors.

Visa applications must be initiated by someone or a company in Saudi Arabia. Once you have secured either an invitation and/or contract to come to Saudi Arabia, an application will be created at the Ministry of Interiors and sent to the Saudi Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

Application Process

It is important to state that the application process for foreigners differs for each country. It is therefore important to check the specific application requirements for your home country.

All visa applications for Saudi Arabia include similar requirements. You will have to complete a comprehensive health evaluation and submit all the results with your application. This includes an HIV test that is mandatory for all applicants.

A recent police clearance report of less than 6 months will also be requested in the application process. All religious beliefs need to be clearly stated in the application process. Note that any stamps of Israel visits in your passport will automatically deny you a visa. Also stating that you are an Atheist or Non-Believer (NIL) will have you denied.

Religious pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will have authorized access to Jeddah, Medina, and Mecca. Note that these are considered as sacred places and are prohibited to non-Muslims.

In regards to your passport's validity requirement, it should be confirmed with the Saudi representation in your home country.

If you have a sponsorship or guarantee letter to travel to Saudi Arabia, you are advised to request your sponsor to specify the maximum of days you are authorized to stay in the country. In fact, the visa validity period starts as of the date of issuance of the visa.

 Important:

While travelling to Saudi Arabia, you are strictly forbidden from carrying the following products: pornographic materials, alcoholic beverages, pork and all related products, prohibited drugs, firearms, explosives, and knives.

Medication must be accompanied by a prescription.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Customs

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.