- Saudi Arabia aims to attract 25 million tourists by 2023, including Muslim pilgrims, by offering a cost-effective transit visa for Umrah and tourism.
- Eligibility for the Saudi transit visa is open to travellers with layovers on Saudi Arabian or FlyNas flights, simplifying the process and offering a complimentary visa option.
- The visa allows a 96-hour stay, is valid for 90 days, and requires a valid passport, a ticket with Saudi Airlines or FlyNas, and a straightforward online application process.
This visa presents a cost-effective means to obtain a complimentary Saudi visa, allowing travellers to perform Umrah and enjoy their vacation.
Over time, Saudi Arabia has made commendable efforts to enhance its appeal to visitors, with a vision to welcome 25 million tourists in 2023, a remarkable goal, especially considering a significant portion of these visitors will likely be Muslim pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia boasts a plethora of captivating destinations that showcase its rich Islamic heritage. Sometimes, Muslim pilgrims tend to focus solely on Makkah and Medina, missing the opportunity to explore these other remarkable places.
Who Is Eligible for the New Saudi Transit Visa?
This visa is available to all travellers passing through Saudi Arabia who have booked a flight with either Saudi Arabia or FlyNas, the country’s budget carrier.
In the past, if you had a lengthy layover, such as 12 hours, and wished to perform Umrah after leaving the airport, you would have needed either an Umrah visa or a tourist visa. With this new visa, you can now obtain it for free when purchasing your ticket.
How Does the Saudi Stopover Visa Function?
The process is relatively straightforward though there are a few aspects that require clarification. Saudia has significantly streamlined the procedure, making it easier for travellers.
Steps to Apply for a Stopover Visa with SAUDIA:
- Select your international departure and arrival destinations.
- Choose flights with a connection time that suits your schedule, up to a maximum of 96 hours.
- If you lack the necessary documentation to enter Saudi Arabia, apply for a stopover visa through the SAUDIA website’s additional services page.
- Ensure your personal photos on your device meet the specified requirements (200 * 200px file size -20kb) before completing the application form.
- Pay both the ticket and visa fees in one transaction on the SAUDIA website.
- After completing the preceding steps, you’ll receive an email containing your issued visa and insurance coverage for your stay in Saudi Arabia.
- They also offer complimentary accommodation for a 24-hour period (one night), although I’m not entirely certain about the process for booking this.
What Are the Requirements for the Transit Visa?
The visa allows a stay of up to 96 hours and is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. It’s important to note that this visa cannot be extended.
Additionally, each visa permits a single stopover trip, so if you have additional trips requiring a stopover in Saudi Arabia, you’ll need to apply for a new stopover visa.
The fees for the visa, electronic services, medical expenses, and insurance are determined in accordance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ visa regulations.
Obtaining an electronic stopover visa does not guarantee entry into Saudi Arabia, as the documents will be thoroughly scrutinized by the passport officer to confirm the accuracy of the provided information.
Criteria for obtaining an electronic transit visa:
- A passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.
- A valid ticket with Saudi Airlines or FlyNas for your onward journey.
Step-by-Step Procedure for Obtaining the Saudi Transit Visa in 2023:
- Begin by selecting your preferred flight option.
- Choose the desired layover duration and provide your personal details.
- Add any additional services, such as the transit visa.
- Complete the visa application process.
The visa application usually takes only a few minutes and is typically issued within a short time frame. You will receive the visa via email, allowing you to proceed with booking your chosen flight.
Enjoy your journey.
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