Visa policy of Saudi Arabia

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Visa policy of Saudi Arabia

Citizens of all countries require a visa to visit Saudi Arabia except the citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council members, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and United Arab Emirates. [1] All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months.[2] Visitors holding passports containing any Israeli visa or stamp may be refused entry; Israeli passport holders are refused admission and transit.[3][4]

Visa exemption also applies to holders of diplomatic and official passports of France.

In December 2013 Saudi Arabia announced its intention to begin issuing tourist visas for the first time in its history. Council of Ministers entrusted the Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities with visa issuing on the basis of certain regulations approved by the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs.[5] A limited tourist visa programme was cancelled in March 2014.[6] In December 2014 the Saudi Arabian authorities reiterated that tourist visas will not be reintroduced. However, in April 2016, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef announced that plans to start issuing tourist visas as part of Vision 2030, which aims to diversify Saudi economy and leading it away from an oil dependent economy. Saudi Arabia has welcomed Uber and Six Flags parks in its initial steps towards amplifying the tourism sector.[7]

Following the severance of diplomatic ties on 5 June 2017, citizens of Qatar are refused admission and Qatari citizens have been given fourteen days to leave the country; previously citizens of the country didn't require a visa to visit Saudi Arabia. [8][9]

Hajj visas[edit]

A special visa category exists for pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia on the Hajj. Applications are encouraged to be done via licensed travel agents and are being accepted between Mid-Shawwal and 25th Dhual-Qa'dah.[10]

Muslim female passengers arriving to perform Umrah[11] or Hajj must either be accompanied by an immediate male family member such as a father, brother, husband, or son, who must be aged 18 years or older; or be over 45 years of age and travelling within a group of female passengers of the same age, who are accompanied by a group leader until their departure.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Visa Information - Saudi Arabia". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Visas for Saudi Arabia
  3. ^ "Country information (visa section)". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA) through Olympic Air. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Tourist visas to be introduced
  6. ^ Saudi suspends tourist visa scheme
  7. ^ No tourist visas for foreigners
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-uae-bahrain-egypt-cut-ties-with-qatar-over-terrorism-1.2038481
  10. ^ "Hajj Visa". www.saudia.com. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  11. ^ Gannon, Martin Joseph; Baxter, Ian W. F.; Collinson, Elaine; Curran, Ross; Farrington, Thomas; Glasgow, Steven; Godsman, Elliot M.; Gori, Keith; Jack, Gordon R. A. (2017-06-11). "Travelling for Umrah: destination attributes, destination image, and post-travel intentions". The Service Industries Journal. 37 (7-8): 448–465. doi:10.1080/02642069.2017.1333601. ISSN 0264-2069. 

External links[edit]

Visa requirements for the Hajj