Saudi Arabia e-Visa Eligibility Now Expanded to GCC Residents of All Professions

The KSA has announced changes in the country's visa policy. Now, all GCC residents can apply for e-Visa for Saudi Arabia regardless of their profession.

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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:

  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • 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. 

Katarzyna Żyła

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