Visa Requirements for Saudi Citizens
Visa requirements for Saudi citizens are the pre-established by foreign countries rules and regulations applicable to citizens of Saudi upon traveling abroad.
Set visa requirements determine whether or not Saudi passport holders will need a visa upon visiting a selected foreign country.
Saudi citizens can travel abroad with four different types of entry, namely Embassy-issued (traditional) visas, electronic visas, Visas on Arrival, and visa-free entry.
Currently, 104 countries require Saudi passport holders to apply for a regular visa at an Embassy or Consulate of the country to be visited. This process may require in-person visits to an appropriate official institution, as well as providing numerous supporting documents.
Only 30 countries make it possible for Saudi citizens to get their visas online using a convenient eVisa system in place. This allows Saudi passport holders to make an online visa application just a few days before the scheduled departure and receive the approved travel authorization via email and skip the troublesome Embassy visits.
34 destinations allow citizens of Saudi to apply for their visa upon their arrival and, therefore, skip the application process before departure. Applying for a VoA may be connected with waiting in long lines and the uncertainty of handling the required visa at the very last minute.
Lastly, there are 37 countries that grant Saudi citizens a visa-free entry, completely eliminating the need to apply for any type of visa for the planned travel. This serves as the most effortless way to travel internationally and usually serves for short-term stays relating to leisure, business, or transit.
Further details on each type of visa/entry applicable to Saudi citizens under the current visa requirements are available below, along with lists of countries offering each visa/entry type and their specific requirements and application processes.
An electronic visa is, in other words, an online visa – a short-term travel authorization document that can be easily obtained online following a quick and intuitive application process. Applying for an eVisa takes just a few minutes and can be done from home or any other place using a phone, laptop, PC, or even a tablet.
List of countries offering eVisas for Saudi citizens
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Ivory Coast
- New Zealand
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
30 countries make it possible for Saudi citizens to apply for their visas online. Thus, traveling from Saudi Arabia to any of the above-listed countries should be preceded by making an eVisa application a few days before departure.
The application process usually just requires travelers to prepare a valid passport, an active email address, and access to any online payment method. Saudi citizens can apply for their eVisas anywhere at any time.
Most countries process eVisas within a maximum of 72 hours. The approved document is then delivered to each applicant via email in the form of a PDF file. It’s best to print it out before departure and then present it to the customs officials upon boarding and check-in (if required).
An approved electronic visa allows its holder to stay abroad for a short period of time, most often between 30 to 90 days.
The stay with an eVisa can relate to leisure, business, or transit reasons, including going on vacation, making family and friends visits, attending business events, conferences, seminars, meetings, handling business negotiations, or simply taking a layover while reaching another final destination.
Visa on Arrival
A Visa on Arrival is a short-term travel authorization document that is upon completing a visa application process on arrival at the selected destination. Saudi citizens who wish to travel abroad with a VoA should prepare for visa handling before departure and apply at one of the border crossing points upon arrival.
List of countries that offer a Visa on Arrival for Saudi citizens
- Cape Verde
- The Maldives
- Sierra Leone
- Sri Lanka
Currently, 34 countries offer a Visa on Arrival option for Saudi passport holders to use upon their international travels.
The first step to getting a Visa on Arrival is to check the current VoA requirements that may differ between the destinations and prepare the required documents before the planned departure.
Next, upon arrival, with the prepared documents on hand, Saudi citizens should go to the closest border crossing point and ask for a VoA application form to fill out.
The form should then be completed with appropriate and up-to-date data. Before submitting the completed form, it’s best to double-check and make sure it’s correct.
Applying for a Visa on Arrival may be connected with long waiting lines and the need to wait for one’s visa to be issued at the very last minute, which may be stressful to some.
Certain countries may also require further steps to be taken to complete the application process, such as providing additional supporting documents or covering the VoA issuing fee (which may need to be done in cash using local currency).
That is why it’s worth noting that many VoA countries offer an eVisa option as well. Travelers who wish to skip the long waiting lines upon arrival and make sure they travel prepared should check if their destination offers an eVisa option.
An approved Visa on Arrival works similarly to an eVisa, i.e., is a short-term travel authorization document that allows its holders to stay abroad for a short period of time (usually either 30 or 90 days) for all leisure, business, or transit-related reasons.
An Embassy visa is a traditional type of visa that can be obtained after completing an application process at an Embassy or Consulate of the country to be visited. The application process may require numerous supporting documents to be provided and in-person visits to the Embassy.
List of countries that require Saudi citizens to present a valid Embassy visa upon their arrival
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- The Central African Republic
- The Republic of the Congo
- Costa Rica
- The Czech Republic
- The Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Marshall Islands
- The Netherlands
- North Korea
- North Macedonia
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Lucia
- San Marino
- The Solomon Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
104 countries require Saudi passport holders to present a valid Embassy visa upon their arrival.
The process of obtaining one may differ between the different countries and various Embassy visa types. However, generally speaking, most Embassy visa application processes require travelers to:
- Check the specific visa requirements applicable to the appropriate visa type and destination selected and prepare the required documents
- Fill the application form
- Visit the Embassy or Consulate they’ll be applying at and submit their application with the complete paperwork on hand
- Proceed with any additional steps that may be required, such as covering the visa issuing fee or undergoing a visa interview
- Wait for approval
It’s worth noting that waiting for an Embassy visa to get approved may take even up to a few weeks. That is why it’s best to submit one’s application well ahead of the planned departure.
Embassy visas take a bit longer to process and may come in various types, including short and long-term documents, even those allowing working, studying, or joining a significant other abroad.
There are 37 destinations that welcome citizens of Saudi Arabia visa-free. This serves as the most effortless way to travel since it completely eliminates the need to apply for any type of visa before the planned trip.
As already mentioned, the process of traveling visa-free is extremely effortless since it does not require travelers to handle any type of visa.
What’s usually needed is simply a valid passport or a valid ID prepared before departure. Some countries may require additional supporting documents to help further validate the purpose of the planned trip.
The additional supporting documents may include proof of having a booked hotel for the trip, proof of having sufficient funds for the stay abroad, or a copy of one’s return ticket.
Once already in a visa-free country, Saudi passport holders can stay for a short period of time for all leisure, business, or transit-related reasons.