Saudi Arabia Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport required Return ticket required Visa required
Australian Yes Yes Yes
British Yes Yes Yes
Canadian Yes Yes Yes
Other EU Yes Yes Yes
USA Yes Yes Yes

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Passports

To enter Saudi Arabia, a passport valid for at least six months at the time of the visa application is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Passport note

Holders of passports with Israeli stamps or an Israeli birthplace in them have, on occasion, been refused entry/visas.

Passengers not complying with Saudi conventions of dress and behaviour, including those who appear to be in a state of intoxication, or who display inappropriate affection will be refused entry.

There are special regulations concerning pilgrims entering Saudi Arabia. Contact the consulate (or consular section at embassy) for further information.

Women and under-aged children should be accompanied by a Mohram (close male family member), unless they have prior authorisation. Unaccompanied women must be met at the airport by their sponsor or husband and have confirmed onward reservations as far as their final destination in Saudi Arabia. If met by a sponsor, it is worth noting that there are restrictions on women travelling by car with men who are not related by blood or marriage (women are not permitted to drive). However, it is acceptable for women visiting for business purposes to be accompanied and met at the airport by male business partners; further enquiries can be made at the information centre or embassy.

Visas

Visas for Saudi Arabia are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except transit passengers staying less than 18 hours.

Hajj visas are free, although there are charges for services provided in Medina and Mecca.

Visa note

The Pilgrim (Umrah) visa can only be obtained through an authorised 'Umrah Agency,' appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Check with the embassy for a full list of appointed agents. Administrative fees may apply and further requirements for Umrah applications must be submitted through an endorsed travel agent or tour operator. A list of endorsed agencies is available from the embassy website.

Transit passengers who stay in the King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah Islamic Port or Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport in Medina for over 24 hours can perform Umrah or visit a Holy Mosque, provided they hold a signed agreement with one of the appointed Umrah agencies.

Visa dates correspond to Hijra months, not Gregorian months - check dates carefully.

Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Saudi Arabia.

Types and cost

Visas are available for business (single- or multiple-entry visas), work, visiting family or religious visits.

Single-entry business/family visit visa: £39; multiple-entry business/family visit visa: £96.

Visa fees vary according to the nationality of applicant, eg US citizens pay £78 regardless of the type of visa. Contact the nearest embassy for details.

Validity

The visa validity starts from the date of issue. The visa stay period starts from the first day of entry into Saudi Arabia within the visa's valid dates. Be careful not to mix up the validity of the visa with the permitted length of stay, as overstaying is a very serious matter.

Umrah and Hajj visas: 30 days for stays of up to two weeks.

Application to

Consulate (or consular section at embassy). Travellers are advised to apply well in advance. Hajj or Umrah visas are only available from the consulate through an authorised travel agent. People visiting the consulate directly for Hajj or Umrah visas will not be successful.

Working days

At least two days, though delays are not uncommon. It is advisable to apply a few weeks in advance.

Embassies and tourist offices

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the USA
Telephone: (202) 342 3800 (information section); (202) 944 3126 (visa section). Website: www.saudiembassy.net Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7917 3000. Website: http://embassies.mofa.gov.sa/sites/uk Opening times: Mon - Thur 0900-1600, Fri 0900-1500. Consular section: Mon-Fri 0900-1130 (visa applications); Mon-Thurs 1400-1530 (passport collection), Fri 1330-1430.
Edited by Jane Duru
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