Saudi Arabia requires a U.S. citizen to have a visa to enter the country. And, due to increased security measures, the time frame for processing a visa application has been substantially extended and may take up to three months. The concern is that if your travel is on a strict schedule (if you need to fly out of the country at a certain time) you may not be able to get your visa approved in enough time. This can possibly lead to missing your flight and/or cancelling your plans altogether with all the associated expenses. You are now faced with alternative options or guest visitors.
Considering a trip to Saudi Arabia? A visit to the Middle East can be an eye-opening experience for visitors. According to the World Fact Book, Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula and is divided into 13 provinces. The Kingdom’s capital city is Riyadh and its official language is Arabic.
In 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) decided to open its borders for tourism for the first time. To facilitate tourist travel to the country, the Saudi government has implemented a simplified online visa application for citizens of the United States and a number of other foreign nationalities.
Saudi Arabia Visa For Us Citizen
The electronic Saudi visa for US citizens can be obtained exclusively online from the comfort of the applicant’s own home. The expedited application protocol removes the need to wait in long visa on arrival queues at the border or obtain a visa from an embassy to travel to Saudi Arabia from the USA.
This page helps nationals of the United States to understand the simple requirements to apply for a KSA visa for US citizens and how to receive their approved Saudi eVisa in advance of departure for the Kingdom.
Do Americans Need an eVisa to Travel to Saudi Arabia?
The Saudi visa policy states that all US citizens need a visa for Saudi Arabia regardless of how long they intend to stay or the motive for their visit to the Kingdom.
US citizens can now travel to Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes with an eVisa obtained online. An approved Saudi tourist visa for US citizens also allows the holder to undertake the Umrah pilgrimage in the Kingdom.
An online Saudi visa from the USA is a multiple entry visa that allows multiple stays of up to 90 days in Saudi Arabia. It is valid for 1 year from the date of approval, meaning there is no need to submit a new application before every trip to the Kingdom.
Please note that the Saudi eVisa is not valid for purposes such as business, work, study, or for pilgrims wishing to participate in Hajj. To visit the Kingdom for these motives, it will be necessary to apply for a visa from the Suadi Arabian embassy in the United States.
Requirements to Obtain a Saudi Online Visa as a US Citizen
Before submitting an online application, it is necessary to meet the Saudi Arabia visa requirements for US citizens. However, these are uncomplicated and easy to comply with.
To apply for the Saudi eVisa, US citizens will need:
- US passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the expected arrival date in Saudi Arabia
- Recent photograph of the traveler, passport-style, that meets the Saudi visa photo requirements
- Valid credit or debit card details to pay the mandatory processing fee
- Email address at which to receive the approved Saudi tourist visa
If the passport does not have the minimum validity required, as stated above, then the traveler will need to renew the document before continuing with the application process. Additionally, the passport used to apply for the Saudi eVisa must be the same one the US national uses to travel to the Kingdom. Dual nationals should keep this in mind.
How to Apply for a Saudi Arabia eVisa from the USA
Applying for a visa for Saudi Arabia from the USA is simple and straightforward, and can be done from any device with an internet connection. The online form just takes a few minutes to complete with basic personal information and passport details.
It is also necessary to supply some basic travel information such as flight dates and the address where the US national will be staying in Saudi Arabia. Before submitting the form, the applicant will be prompted to upload their photograph and pay the eVisa fee,
The Saudi Arabia eVisa for US citizens is usually processed quickly, within 3-5 business days. Once approved, a copy of the visa is sent to the traveler’s email inbox.
An approved Saudi Arabia visit visa for US citizens can be used at any of the following airports and land entry points, as well as at all seaports, in the Kingdom:
- King Abdulaziz International Airport
- King Fahd International Airport
- King Khalid International Airport
- Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport
- Al Batha crossing (from the United Arab Emirates)
- King Fahd Bridge (from Bahrain)
In order to gain entry at any of these locations, it is necessary to present a printed copy of the Saudi tourist visa alongside the same passport used to complete the application.
Embassy Registration for US Passport Holders
Those planning to travel to Saudi Arabia from the USA are now able to electronically submit their contact and travel data to complete an online embassy registration. This can be done as part of the Saudi eVisa application.
Registering with the American embassy in Saudi Arabia allows consular officials to provide assistance to the traveler, or help them contact family and friends in the US, in the event of an emergency. The registration is easy to complete and only takes a few minutes.
Insurance for US Citizens with an eVisa
All holders of an online Saudi Arabia visa for US citizens are obliged to have mandatory travel insurance to cover any emergency medical costs they may incur during their stay in the Kingdom. They are randomly assigned an insurance provider by the Sadi government at the moment of eVisa approval.
This service is included in the cost of the Saudi visa fee. The insurance policies cover emergency medical expenses up to 100,000 SAR ($ 26,660) and are accepted at any approved health center in Saudi Arabia.