Saudi Arabia Expands Visitor e-Visa to Eight Additional Countries
In a bid to make it easier than ever before to experience the authentic home of Arabia, Saudi Arabia will grant visitor e-visa to travelers from eight newly-eligible countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, South Africa, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan for leisure, business and religious (Umrah only) travel.
Nationals of these countries can apply for a Saudi visitor visa ahead of their journey via the official e-visa portal at visitsaudi.com/en/travel-regulations.
Saudi is reimaging the tourism experience, with the famously warm and generous Saudi welcome – known as Hafawah – at the heart of its plans. The visitor e-visa is valid for an entire year, grants multiple entries and permits a stay of up to 90 days. And Visit Saudi offers an online trip planner for visitors to create custom itineraries with ease.
From visiting Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, snorkeling and diving in Saudi’s Red Sea – one of the world’s most spectacular undiscovered diving spots, wandering Taif’s world-famous Rose Gardens, shopping like a local in Riyadh’s Deira Souq, chartering the unknown on land in the lush, green Asir region and tasting Saudi’s diverse and delicious culinary scene from fragrant Arabic dishes to internationally-renowned fine dining restaurants, there is something for everyone.
Since launching the e-visa program in 2019, Saudi has welcomed 93.5 million visits in 2022, a 93% increase compared to 2021, resulting in a tourism spend of SAR185 billion (USD49 billion). This rapid tourism growth is due to expanding visa initiatives, which now include 57 nations and two special administrative regions, compared to the initial 49 countries at the program’s launch.
In 2022, Saudi extended regulations to provide a vistor e-visa to holders of valid Schengen, United Kingdom and United States of America visas that have been used to enter those countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia, and to permanent residents of EU and GCC countries, and the United Kingdom and United States of America.
And earlier this year, Saudi announced the launch of the free 96-hour Stopover Visa, allowing passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours. Stopover Visa holders will be eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through SAUDIA. Travelers can use the Stopover Visa to explore Saudi and perform Umrah. Religious travelers can book flights through SAUDIA and Flynas, and register for Umrah through the Nusuk platform.