Types of visa in Saudi Arabia that exist are for various purposes, from a tourist visit to residence. Each of them has its characteristics and requirements that you must pay attention to properly comply with each of them. Authorities have been working to improve processes and have established electronic visa for certain nationalities.
In this article, we will show you each of the visas that a person can apply for depending on their purpose and nationality. Likewise, you will know the fees you will have to pay and what process you need if you want to visit, reside, or work in the Arab nation.
How to Apply Saudi Arabia Visa Online?
Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with the most visitors within the Middle Eastern nations. In this case, there are several reasons why this happens, be it work, tourism, business, and religion. Therefore, there are different types of visa in Saudi Arabia to visit, work, and even live permanently.
However, citizens of several countries do not need a visa to visit the country; they only need their national IDs. The countries whose citizens do not need a visa are the following:
- United Arabic Emirates
On the other hand, citizens of 57 nations can aspire to obtain an electronic visa (e-Visa) or visa on arrival. Hence, GCC residents can apply for an e-Visa, while citizens with Schengen, UK, or USA visas need a visa on arrival. However, citizens of other countries need to contact the Saudi embassy in their country for a visa.
Additionally, depending on the Saudi Arabia types of visa, the validity changes. For example, multiple entry view visas are valid for 1 year and allow the bearer to stay 90 days in the country. In contrast, the single-entry tourist visa is valid for 3 months but can only stay for 30 days.
E-Visa application process
One of the types of visa that you can apply for is the electronic visa, depending on what is stated in the previous section. To begin, you will need to apply through the Saudi Immigration Services portal. However, the process is very simple and we will explain it to you below:
- Once you have entered the portal, look for the APPLY VISA section.
- You will then need to fill out the application form with your basic information, including:
- Full name
- Passport number
- Next, you must select between the types of visa in Saudi Arabia and the processing time.
- Make the payment of the visa fees and check if you need additional documentation.
- Then, the authorities will begin processing the visa and you will receive it by email once approved.
- To complete the process, print your e-visa to have it on hand at all times on your trip to Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, when you arrive in the country, the authorities will stamp the visa in your passport. We also suggest carrying out this entire process at least a week before traveling to the country. Also, do not forget to carefully check all the information you provide to avoid processing inconveniences.
Types of Saudi Arabia Visas
There are various types of visa in Saudi Arabia, each with its characteristics, validity, and required documentation. Below, we will explain in detail what each of them consists of and their characteristics.
One of the visa types in Saudi Arabia the most popular is the tourism one, implemented since 2013. To improve this part of issuing documents, the authorities established the electronic visa system or e-Visa. In addition, the list of people eligible to receive this type of visa includes 51 nationalities.
However, you should know that you can only carry out tourist activities with this document. Likewise, if you are not a Muslim, know that you will not be able to enter Mecca or Medina even with this visa.
For investors, one of the types of visa in Saudi Arabia is of greater relevance. With this visa, you will be able to participate in commercial activities within the Kingdom in different ways. This visa is for business people, including but not limited to, the following:
- Representative of a company
- Sales Manager
- Sales representative
Only this is used to do business in the country since it is illegal to do so with any of the other types of visa in Saudi. Additionally, you will only be able to obtain one of these visas at the Saudi Arabian consulate in your home country.
In the case of this visa, it is for people who want to work in the Kingdom and have an offer from a company in the country. That is, the applicant must have a sponsor to obtain this visa, which will be the employer. The company that hires you will be in charge of carrying out most of the process but you must provide much of the documentation.
Apart from the documents common to the different types of visa in Saudi Arabia, for an employment visa, you will need:
- 3 copies of a valid medical report
- Employment letter from the sponsoring company, certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.
- Copy of the duly signed employment contract.
- Copy of the certified applicant’s university degree, which must also be validated by the Cultural Mission of Saudi Arabia.
- Criminal record report
Another types of visa in KSA is that foreigners who wish to study in the country can take advantage of. However, first, they need to be accepted by a school or university to complete their studies at one of them. Additionally, holders of this document will be able to live and study in Saudi Arabia for the duration of their registration.
Generally, these visas are valid for 90 days within 12 months. However, this time may be longer for study programs that last more than 90 days. This initiative is part of a plan by the authorities to attract students from most countries. In this way, citizens of 160 nations can participate in the Study in Saudi Arabia program.
This program allows foreign students and teachers to carry out their respective work in the Kingdom. Additionally, applicants do not need to have a local sponsor to apply for this visa.
Among the types of visa in Saudi Arabia, the residence visa is one of the most popular among expatriates. In this case, we are referring to the Premium Saudi residence, which allows the holder to live, work, as well as have businesses and properties in the country. Furthermore, the applicant does not need a sponsor to obtain the residence visa.
The purpose of this visa is to attract wealthy foreigners with business capabilities to invest in the country. In this way, the authorities seek the economic growth of the country through foreign investment. Additionally, those who hold this visa can reside for an extended period depending on the plan chosen.
Thus, you can choose between a one-year, renewable, or unlimited-time visa, which also allows you to sponsor your family members. The government established this program in 2019, aiming to attract foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and qualified professionals. With this program, the country has diversified its economy and has attracted international talent in the world of work.
Family Visit Visa
This is one of the Saudi visa types only intended for US citizens or US residents. It is intended for those who wish to visit a family member in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the bearer will not be able to work during this time and must respect the Islamic religion, complying with the corresponding laws.
Personal Visit Visa
The personal visit visa is for those people who wish or must visit the country for personal reasons. In this case, it is used to visit a friend who is a citizen or resident of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At the same time, this visa can be for single entry or multiple entries, depending on the invitation letter.
Applicants must meet the established requirements to obtain a personal visit visa. Added to the requirements and conditions common to all visas, you must comply with the following:
- Proof the relationship between you and the sponsor
- Do not exceed the period of stay of the visa
- Authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia. This must be obtained by the sponsor before making preparations for the visa.
Since the process can take time, you should take the time to make arrangements and confirm your visa before you travel.
Hajj and Umrah Visas
This is one of the types of visa in Saudi Arabia for Muslims since it is intended for those who will perform the pilgrimage. It is common for people to apply for this document between Mid-Shawwal and 25th Dhual-Qa’dah. However, Muslim women cannot travel alone to Saudi Arabia for this purpose.
Therefore, they must accompany them in the following cases:
- If you are under 45 years of age, you must travel with a male relative over 18 years of age.
- If you are over 45 years old, you can travel in a group of women who are over that age and with a group leader.
Saudi Arabia Visa Fees
The e-visa fees in Saudi Arabia depend on the nationality of the applicant but generally cost SAR 300 or USD 80. Additionally, the different types of visa in Saudi Arabia have different costs. Additionally, the costs of a visa consist of three parts:
- The government fee is USD 80
- Mandatory health insurance for all applicants is USD 80
- The cost will also depend on the processing time chosen, which can be between 2 and 6 days. Processing options include standard, express, and super rush.
Saudi Arabia Visa Requirements
The visa requirements for Saudi Arabia are the common ones that you must submit in most countries. However, you may find some additional ones that differ from those regulated. Next, we will show you the details of each of the requirements:
The passport of the applicant for any of the types of visa must be valid for at least 6 months. This time must be counted from the moment of the travel date.
The person must submit the visa application form so that the authorities can process it properly.
You will need a color photograph of the same size as the passport.
Other requirements for types of visa in Saudi Arabia
In addition to the typical requirements for all visa types in Saudi Arabia, there are some additional ones:
- Payment of fees. Of course, this requirement is common to all, for which you will need a credit or debit card. Additionally, you will need to present a valid form of payment as proof of payment for your visa application.
- Health insurance. To obtain the visa, you must provide health insurance that covers the entire time spent in Saudi Arabia.
- Applicants must also provide proof that they have a place to stay during their stay. In this case, they could be a hotel, a residence, or a house.
- Return ticket. You must provide a return ticket to your home country, as well as a travel itinerary.
- Proof of employment. Applicants must provide proof of stable employment and sufficient income.
- Banking tests. In this way, the applicant can demonstrate that they have the resources to support themselves during the trip.
However, be sure to consult the experts in this process to find out the additional requirements depending on your visa type.
Where to Apply for a Saudi Arabia Visa
Depending on whether you will apply for one of the types of visa in Saudi Arabia in electronic or sticker format, you can do so in 2 different ways. These are what we will detail below:
- Electronic visa or e-Visa. In this case, citizens from 57 countries can apply for an electronic visa on the Saudi eVisa portal.
- Saudi visa sticker. For citizens of countries not included in eVisas, you must apply at a Saudi Arabian embassy. They can also do so at a consulate in their countries of origin. In addition, they can explore the schedules and the possibility of carrying out the procedure through a travel agency authorized for this purpose.
We have shown you how many types of visa in Saudi Arabia you can find and what the requirements and characteristics of each one are. This way, you will be able to determine which of them best applies to the purpose of your trip. Additionally, you must organize all the documents and requirements in advance to have a better experience in the process.
However, the process is not complicated at all, and with the necessary information, you can have a successful trip or residence in the country. If you require a little more information about this or other topics, do not hesitate to contact us.