Saudi Arabia e-Visa Eligibility Now Expanded to GCC Residents of All Professions
According to the latest announcement of the Tourism Ministry of the KSA, now the legal residents of the GCC countries may obtain a Saudi Arabia online visa irrespective of their profession.
Starting from September 2022, GCC residents could apply for e-Visa to Saudi Arabia only if their profession met the occupation eligibility criteria.
This requirement has now been lifted, and now all GCC residents are eligible for a Saudi Arabia online visa application.
Moreover, a GCC resident can also obtain a Saudi electronic visa for:
- domestic workers sponsored by them (if they travel to the KSA with the GCC resident)
- accompanying first-degree relatives (e.g.spouses, children, parents)
Saudi Arabia e-Visa application and characteristics
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia first introduced the e-Visa service in 2019 with the aim of facilitating traveling to the KSA for short-term tourism-related activities.
An eligible applicant just needs to fill out a very intuitive and short online application form, upload the required documents and cover the processing fee.
Next, the approved e-Visa is delivered straight to the applicant’s email inbox within maximally a few business days.
The Saudi Arabia e-Visa is a one-type visa covering numerous entries to the Kingdom. It serves only tourism purposes, including sightseeing, family or friend reunions, as well as Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca). *
A holder of a Saudi Arabia online visa cannot use it for business-related purposes.
The approved e-Visa remains valid for one year from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to a 90-day stay in total in the Kingdom.
These 90 days can be either spread over one long stay or numerous shorter visits.
*Please note that e-Visa covers Umrah but not during Hajj. For a hajj pilgrimage, you will need to obtain a separate visa at the Saudi embassy or consulate.
Requirements for GCC residents applying for the Saudi Arabia e-Visa
GCC countries' citizens can enjoy visa-free entry to Saudi Arabia. The requirement to hold a visa applies to those who live in one of the following Gulf Cooperation Council countries on a residence permit:
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
As stated in the KSA visa policy, the residents of the GCC must meet certain requirements to apply for a Saudi e-Visa, including:
- holding a residency permit valid for at least 3 months
- holding a passport that will not expire for at least 6 months
- covering the e-Visa fee using one of the available online payment methods (e.g., credit or debit card)
To apply for a Saudi e-Visa, one must be 18. Visa applications on behalf of underage travelers should be submitted by parents or legal guardians.
Families traveling together must remember to apply for a separate visa for each family member. Also, they need to enter the KSA together as a group.