Expats alert: You can now perform Umrah on Saudi visit visa

However, for non-muslims, the Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa is granted for tourism purposes only

  
Muslims perform Umrah around the holy Kaaba at the Great Mosque during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 26, 2019.

Muslims perform Umrah around the holy Kaaba at the Great Mosque during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 26, 2019.

REUTERS/Waleed Ali

Muslims travelling to Saudi Arabia with an eVisa can now perform Umrah outside of Hajj season only, according to the information provided on Saudi Arabia eVisa website

However, for non-muslims, the Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa is granted for tourism purposes only and the visitors are forbidden from visiting the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage in Saudi had affirmed in January 2020, that those who have obtained an entry visa to the United States of America, the United Kingdom or a European (Schengen) visa can enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and obtain a visit through airports and other ports only.

A source in the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage said that this is a continuation of the work of launching the tourist visa, and the kingdom's opening of its doors to the world, and in line with what was included in the tourism system and the visit regulations for the purpose of tourism.

The source added that there is an existing committee chaired by the chairman of the board of directors of the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage, Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khatib, working to define the goals and the mechanism for applying the structure of the visitor visas.

The source said that those who obtain a tourist or commercial visa to these countries can now enter the kingdom and obtain a tourist visa through the visa upon arrival only, and they are not included in the electronic visa.

The source stipulated that the visitor to the kingdom must have used his visa to visit America, Britain, or any of the Schengen countries, before entering the kingdom.

He added that this step is one of several steps the kingdom has taken in order to attract tourists from different countries of the world.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation circulated to the national air transport companies to allow the holders of these visas after verification before the ending of procedures of travel.

Important things to consider before applying for Saudi Arabia Tourist e-Visa

1-Travellers must have their passport with at least 6-month validity from the date of arrival and have at least one page available for stamping.

2-The visa allows applicants multiple entry in Saudi Arabia and visitors can remain in the country for up to 90 days Total.

You can apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist e-visa if the purpose of your visit is leisure (tourism).

Possession of a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia does not provide automatic right of entry for the holder into the country. The immigration officer at the port of entry may refuse entry to any person, if he considers that such a person is unable to fulfil the immigration requirements or that such person's presence in Saudi Arabia would be contrary to national interests or security.

How to get the visa on arrival

Tourist can apply for visa on arrival at one of Saudi Arabia's entry points if any of the following conditions apply:

The tourist is from one of the countries in the eligible countries list.

>The tourist is holding USA, United Kingdom, or Schengen visas.

Following are the requirements

1-The visa is valid.

2-The visa type is either tourist or business.

3-The visa has to be used at least once and have an entry stamp of the issuing country.

4-Travel must be with SAUDIA or any other of Saudi Arabia's national air carriers.

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