Can I get a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia?

Particularly famous for its holy city, Saudi Arabia welcomes over a million foreign visitors every year, most of them pilgrims. Although this destination is still not very popular with tourists, it is opening up more and more and making administrative procedures easier. Among other things, some applicants can obtain a visa online or on arrival in the country.

Tourist visa on arrival: yes, subject to two conditions

While the country has long been considered inadvisable for tourists, the Saudi government is doing everything it can to reverse the trend. For some time now, the rules for obtaining a visa have been changing to attract more visitors. To discover the Arabian Peninsula without the administrative headache, you can obtain a visa online or on arrival.

To be eligible, certain conditions must be met. The main one concerns the nationality of applicants. Nationals eligible for an e-visa can obtain a visa on arrival. Citizens of these countries are authorised to stay in Saudi Arabia for a maximum of 90 days. These countries include the European Union, Canada, China and the United States. The same applies to holders of British, American or Schengen visas.

The other condition concerns the flight arrangements. To qualify for a visa on arrival, travellers must use one of the following airlines. These are as follows: Saudia, Flynas Flyadeal and SaudiGulf Airlines.

Tourist visa on arrival: no, if you are an Israeli or Qatari national

If you are not a citizen of one of the eligible countries, you will not be able to benefit from this measure. You will therefore have to go through the traditional channels and submit your application to the Saudi authorities. You will have to wait for an official reply before you can enter the country. And you must not be in possession of a passport that prohibits entry.

Two nationalities rule out the possibility of obtaining a visa from the outset. There is therefore no question of applicants benefiting from any kind of visa on arrival. Since 5 June 2017, holders of Qatari passports have been banned from obtaining tourist visas. It should be noted that before this date, they could enter Saudi territory without a visa. In addition, Israeli citizens are not only banned from visas, but also from transit.

No, in the case of visas for the Hajj

While many tourists are eligible for a tourist visa on arrival, there is another category of visa. Foreigners wishing to perform the Hajj must apply for a specific visa on the Nusuk Hajj website. Under no circumstances can they benefit from an e-visa or a visa on arrival.

Four countries are completely visa-free: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.