Saudi Arabia Streamlines Visa Process for UK US and Schengen Visa Holders

Saudi Arabia has introduced a new and streamlined visa process for individuals holding visas from the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), and countries within the Schengen area. This initiative allows travelers in these categories to obtain an instant electronic visa (e-Visa) if they have previously used their existing visa to enter the issuing country at least once.

Expansion of Saudi Arabia e-Visa Eligibility

In addition to UK, US, and Schengen visa holders, the e-Visa for Saudi Arabia will also be available to permanent residents of any country in the European Union (EU). Furthermore, first-degree relatives of these travelers will have the option to obtain a Saudi visa upon arrival at any air, land, or sea port in the country.

Efforts to Facilitate Saudi Arabia Tourism

The Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia stated that this move is part of the kingdom's commitment to streamline procedures and provide an integrated tourism experience. By allowing holders of visas from the US, the Schengen area, and the UK, along with their residents, to apply for a tourist visa electronically and instantly, Saudi Arabia aims to enhance the ease of travel for these individuals.

Online Saudi Arabia Application Process

Under the new scheme, eligible travelers can apply for a Saudi visa exclusively online for the purpose of tourism. It is important to note that the e-Visa system cannot be used to obtain a visa for the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage.

This digitalization of the visa application process eliminates the need for paper-based documentation and physical visits to consulates or embassies. The shift to online applications is expected to expedite and streamline the process, making it more efficient for travelers.

Boosting the Saudi Arabia Tourism Sector

Saudi Arabia's recent expansion of the e-Visa program is anticipated to provide a significant boost to the country's burgeoning tourism sector. This announcement represents a major milestone in the kingdom's efforts to stimulate tourism and facilitate international travel.

The Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia stated that this initiative aligns with their ongoing efforts to facilitate entry into the country for individuals who wish to visit and explore its tourism destinations. The streamlined visa process aims to enable visitors to partake in tourism events, gain insights into the kingdom's heritage, and delve into its rich historical depth.

Recent Saudi Arabia Policy Reforms

The introduction of the instant e-Visa for UK, US, and Schengen visa holders is the latest in a series of significant visa policy reforms in Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, the kingdom launched its first-ever online visa platform for up to 50 nationalities, enabling international visitors to obtain tourist visas for the country for the first time. This initiative was part of the larger Vision 2030 program aimed at diversifying the economy and opening up the country to international visitors.

Furthermore, the list of eligible e-Visa travelers was expanded to include residents of other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This includes individuals holding residence cards from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia introduced a Stopover Visa, allowing transit passengers traveling on Saudi and Flynas flights to explore the country for up to 96 hours during their layovers. This visa is provided free of charge and further enhances the travel options available to visitors.


Saudi Arabia's new instant e-Visa scheme for UK, US, and Schengen visa holders, as well as its online application process, marks a significant step toward facilitating tourism and streamlining visa procedures. With the kingdom's continuous efforts to attract international tourists and improve the visitor experience, Saudi Arabia is emerging as one of the fastest-growing tourism markets in the world. These visa policy reforms contribute to the realization of the Vision 2030 initiative and demonstrate the country's commitment to opening up to the global community.

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