Saudi Arabia Entry and Travel Requirements
Saudi Arabia Entry Requirements are a set of rules and regulations that must be met by everyone who wishes to enter the KSA hassle-free. These rules inform who may enter the country and specify the documentation that a person planning to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must obtain prior to the intended trip.
Among the most important documents that every traveler needs to have to visit Saudi Arabia are a valid passport and visa. The passport validity should be at least 6 months from the planned arrival date in Saudi Arabia.
The visa policy of Saudi Arabia determines the visa types available for the KSA and informs which countries' nationals may apply for a visa online or at an embassy, as well as which nationalities can travel to the KSA visa-free.
Currently, Saudi Arabia offers visa exemptions to all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Kingdom has also facilitated the visa application by introducing the eVisa system. Getting an electronic visa is the most convenient way to obtain a visa for Saudi Arabia. There are around 50 countries whose citizens are eligible for eVisa to the KSA, including nationals of the USA, UK, Japan, and EU, all member countries.
Saudi Arabia also offers a less convenient alternative to a regular and electronic visa, which is a VoA (Visa on Arrival). The VoA can be issued upon arrival in the KSA. Both the Saudi eVisa and VoA allow their holders to stay in the country for up to 3 months. Travelers who are not eligible for an electronic visa or visa on arrival must apply for a Saudi consular visa at the nearest Saudi Arabian diplomatic post. The consular visa is also necessary for those who wish to stay in the KSA for longer than 3 months or those who plan to work, live or study there.
As for now, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia prohibits the entry of Israeli nationals.
Additionally, travelers who wish to perform the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca need to apply for a Hajj visa. This visa is available between Mid-Shawwal and 25th Dhual-Qa'dah.
Important! Saudi Arabia has lifted some of its covid-related restrictions. The country has removed quarantine on arrival and the requirement to provide a negative Covid-19 test report. Entry to the country is possible without a vaccination certificate.
Before traveling to the KSA, every traveler should follow the latest updates on Saudi Arabia entry requirements since they are subject to rapid changes.
Who can enter Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia welcomes all international travelers regardless of their vaccination status. The Covid-19 entry requirements are the same whether for vaccinated or non-vaccinated travelers.
The only nationals banned from entry to the KSA are Israelis.
Documents check-list for entering Saudi Arabia
- valid passport
- valid Saudi visa
- travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage
- Saudi Arabia Arrival Registration
- Tawakkalna App
Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements
The pre-arrival testing requirement was dropped for all travelers to Saudi Arabia, no matter vaccinated or non-vaccinated. The country does not perform post-arrival tests either.
Important: Holders of a Hajj visa must still provide evidence of a negative coronavirus test performed within 72 hours before the planned arrival.
There is no longer a need to provide vaccination status to enter Saudi Arabia unless you are a Muslim pilgrimaging under a Hajj visa.
The approved Covid-19 vaccines in the KSA include:
The Kingdom has removed the quarantine requirements for all arrivals to Saudi Arabia.
Traveling from Saudi Arabia
Saudi Government regulates some exit requirements that certain categories of travelers must meet to leave Saudi Arabia. For example, a foreign woman married to a Saudi national must obtain a re-entry or final exit permission granted by her husband.
Saudi citizens who wish to depart the Kingdom must have received a booster shot of one of the recognized coronavirus vaccines if 3 months or more have elapsed since they received a final dose of their primary Covid-19 vaccine series. This requirement applies to all people aged 16 and older and all those who are non-vaccine-exempt.
Until recently, the KSA has banned its citizens from traveling to India, Turkey, Etiopia, and Vietnam. The ban has been finally lifted and Saudi citizens can now visit these countries restrictions-free.
Additionally, Saudi authorities have implemented some fees for dependents applying to Iqama holders. All ex-pats with outstanding fees for dependents may need to pay the fee in order to be able to apply for an exit or re-entry visa, renew their Iqama or leave the Kingdom for the final time.
Traveling to Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has lifted most of the covid-related restrictions in the country. International travelers no longer need to quarantine on arrival or present Covid-19 vaccination and test certificates.
All travelers still need to complete the pre-arrival registration, download the Tawakkalna application, and purchase insurance with Covid-19 coverage to access the KSA issues-free.
Nationals of most countries around the world must also obtain a visa prior to the planned travel.
All the persons planning to travel soon to the KSA should monitor the changes in the entry requirements. Due to the still ongoing pandemic, the rules are subject to change anytime.
Entry Rules for Children
Children entering the KSA should follow the same travel advice for Saudi Arabia as adult travelers. Parents or legal guardians should ensure the passport validity of their underage travel companions, obtain visas on their behalf, add them to their Arrival Registration Form, and include them in their medical insurance policy.
Children of the age of up to 21 who live in Saudi Arabia as part of a Saudi household must obtain permission from a male relative in order to leave the KSA.
Transit through Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not introduce special requirements for passengers in transit. All travelers can transit through the KSA visa-free as long as they will not exit the airport's tranist area when waiting for the connecting flight.
The country's authorities lifted the Covid-19 testing requirement for travelers arriving in the Kingdom. Nevertheless, all transiting passengers should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the country of their final destination. They may require travelers to provide a pre-departure negative test.
Saudi Arabia offers electronic visas to travelers from a number of countries who want to visit Saudi for tourism purposes. The eVisa is obtainable entirely via the Internet, which means that the applicant does not need to visit an embassy in person. Currently, nationals of around 50 countries are eligible for a Saudi electronic tourist visa, including all EU member states, the UK, the USA, Canada, and China.
Holders of Saudi Arabia eVisa can stay maximally for 90 days in the country, while the visa remains valid for 1 year from the date of issue.
The Saudi tourist eVisa is digitally matched to the passport used in the online application. The passport cannot expire for at least 6 months from the planned arrival date in Saudi Arabia.
Citizens of a number of countries, including all African countries, most South and Central American countries, as well as some Asian countries, must apply for an embassy or consular visa for Saudi Arabia. To get a regular visa for the KSA, one needs to be over 18 years of age and go to the nearest diplomatic post of Saudi Arabia, and provide necessary supporting documents like a valid passport, onward travel ticket, accommodation booking, and sufficient funds proof. Depending on the particular visa types and the applicant's nationality, some other documents may be required. Applicants younger than 18 years of age must be accompanied by a legal guardian to submit the visa application.
Since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires purchasing health insurance, its proof is also necessary to receive a Saudi consular visa approval.
Moreover, each individual who wishes to work or live in the KSA must also apply for a relevant embassy visa. For more information, contact the nearest Saudi Embassy.
All Muslims wishing to perform the Hajj Pilgrimage must obtain a special permit known as Hajj Visa. The most important pilgrimage in the life of every Muslim is performed from the 8th to the 12th of the last month of the Muslim calendar every year. The standard tourist visa covers performing Umrah, while visiting Mecca requires a Hajj visa. Moreover, only Muslims can enter Mecca. Some travel agencies authorized by the Kingdom provide the service of the Hajj visa.
There are some special requirements for female pilgrims, including the requirement to be accompanied by a male family member over the age of 18. It applies to every pilgrimaging woman below the age of 45. They may travel with a father, son, husband, or brother. Women over 45 may also pilgrimage in a group with other female travelers of the same age. They must, however, have one appointed group leader.
As for now, only nationals of all GCC states are granted visa exemption for Saudi Arabia. These states, apart from the KSA, include citizens of the following countries:
Saudi Arabia Arrival Registration
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia introduced mandatory electronic travel registration for every person arriving in the Kingdom. The registration is entirely online and requires providing some basic personal, passport, health, and travel-related information.
Despite loosening the coronavirus restrictions in the country, Arrival Registration remains obligatory for all travelers to Saudi, regardless of their vaccination status.
To ensure that all the data provided is recent and relevant, travelers need to complete the registration within 72 hours before the intended arrival in the KSA. Upon completing the Saudi Arabia Arrival Registration, an applicant receives the confirmation in a PDF file.
In addition to completing the Saudi Arabia Arrival Registration, travelers need to download the Tawakkalna app 8 hours prior to the planned arrival in the Kingdom. The application is available both for Android and iOS and is used to sync and confirm the vaccination status of its user. Travelers using Tawakkalna app also receive recent notifications from the Saudi Ministry of Health.
As of March 5, 2022, all visitors traveling to Saudi Arabia must be covered by international travel medical insurance, including Covid-19 potential treatment costs. Do remember to review your plan details before deciding to purchase your insurance and ensure trouble-free access to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The travel insurance requirement does not apply to citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia as well as citizens of GCC member states.