If you want to travel to Saudi Arabia, you may have heard that the country now offers a new tourist visa. This allows tourists to visit the country for up to 90 days for tourism purposes.
This visa is available to citizens of eligible countries and US, UK, and EU permanent residents. It can also be obtained on arrival in Saudi Arabia.
What is the eVisa?
Saudi Arabia has launched an ambitious tourism drive to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The projects include a nascent cruise sector, luxury Red Sea resorts, and eco-lodges in the desert.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has loosened some restrictive rules to attract more foreign visitors. It has allowed women to drive cars, lowered its strict dress code, and relaxed gender-mixing restrictions.
But other aspects of Saudi will put many tourists off. Its alcohol ban, strict dress code, and curbs on gender mixing are all red flags for many people.
For this reason, Saudi Arabia has launched a tourist visa system – called the eVisa – for those interested in visiting the Kingdom. This electronic visa will permit travelers to travel to the Kingdom for leisure and stay there for up to 90 days.
The new visa allows applicants from 48 countries to apply online through the ‘Visit Saudi’ portal. Previously, travelers had to go through the consulate or embassy of the Kingdom to obtain a visa. This has been simplified to make it faster and easier for potential travelers.
How do I apply for the Visa?
Saudi Arabia is a conservative country, and it doesn’t issue tourist visas. But its rulers are keen on opening the country to the world to create jobs, earn revenue, and reduce their reliance on oil.
But attracting Western tourists to Saudi Arabia is not as simple as the conservative country’s rulers might like. Its alcohol ban, strict dress code, and curbs on gender mixing are all things that can put off tourists, who might prefer a more relaxed vacation.
As a result, the Kingdom is slowly easing its restrictions to attract visitors. Last year it introduced a short-term visa that allowed foreigners to visit the Kingdom to attend events and conferences and a Sharek visa that gave visitors 14-day access to follow a specific event.
But there are still plenty of things that can put off foreign tourists, and many travelers have stayed away. These include that many foreign women still need a tourist visa, which means they can only travel with friends.
What are the Requirements for the Visa?
The new visa scheme promotes tourism and eases visa application procedures. It allows citizens from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Sweden, to visit Saudi Arabia and tourism purposes.
Those traveling to the country must know the Saudi visa requirements and complete an online form, which requires them to share their travel plans and answer a short security questionnaire. In addition, they must provide their passport information and a valid email address. If these requirements are met, the process may be completed, or the visa application may be accepted.
As a result, travelers should take the time to carefully review the online application to ensure that it includes all the required information. Mistakes on the form can cause delays in processing your visa application, negatively impacting your travel experience in the Kingdom.
In addition to answering the eVisa application questionnaire, applicants must ensure they have a valid passport and a bank account to make payments. They must also obtain the necessary vaccinations for their trip to Saudi Arabia, which are required by law to enter the country.
The Saudi government’s goal is to turn the nation into a mass-market tourist destination, and it is investing heavily in this endeavor. Among the latest projects are a nascent cruise sector, luxury Red Sea resorts, and eco-lodges in the desert.
Can I apply for the Visa Online?
The eVisa is a new visa regime allowing visitors from 49 countries to visit Saudi Arabia without requiring a visa. It will allow travelers to experience the country’s rich history, culture, and spectacular landscapes.
It also offers a way to help tourists avoid potential risks while in the Kingdom. Tourists can obtain the visa online before arriving in Saudi Arabia and must ensure they meet all relevant requirements.
For example, they must show that they have a valid passport and can afford to support themselves during their time in the country. They will also need to ensure that they have a medical insurance policy that covers them during their stay in the country.
Another thing to consider is that you need to register for the Muqeem vaccination before entering the country. The government put this requirement in place to protect against disease outbreaks.
Similarly, it is essential to register for your passport before you leave the country as well. It is necessary to do this as soon as possible, as the key can take up to 3 months to be issued.
Finally, it is essential to remember that you should always seek legal advice before signing a contract with a company in Saudi Arabia. This can be done by speaking to an Arabic translator or hiring a lawyer.
How Long Will the Process Take?
Getting a visa to Saudi Arabia can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. It can involve visiting an embassy physically or waiting in long queues to get your application approved. However, you can make the process much faster by applying for a Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa.
Obtaining a Saudi Arabia Tourist visa can take 5-30 minutes, and it is possible to apply online. The approval of your application will then be sent to your email inbox.
You must ensure the visa is processed promptly and all your documents are in order. This includes proof of employment and a letter from a Saudi business inviting you to visit the country.
Remember that you must bring a valid passport when traveling to Saudi Arabia. It should be suitable for six months or more from your arrival date.
This will help you to avoid delays at the border. Immigration officers may ask you several questions about your travel plans and deny you entry if they believe you threaten the country.
What Happens if the Application is Rejected?
Even with the best credentials, experience, and education, there is always a chance that your application will be rejected. Rejection feels like a door slamming shut, but there are ways to deal with and learn from it.
First, there is no need to panic if you get a rejection letter, as it’s not the end of the world. You can re-apply for the same visa in the future. However, knowing what the letter means before re-submitting your application is essential.
The letter should contain a list of common reasons why your application was declined. The best way to understand these reasons is to review the notes carefully and ask the authorities for clarification if necessary.
Next, look at the reasons given and decide what you can do to improve on the things that were wrong with your application. This can be as simple as improving your resume, cover letter, or interview skills.
One of the most impressive things you can do is seek feedback from your potential employer. Some hiring managers are generous enough to share why your application was turned down and give you some pointers on improving your chances of getting a job offer. If you are polite, this is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The best part is that you will better understand what you need to work on to achieve your career goals faster and wiser.