Saudi reinstates visas on arrival for select countries

Saudi reinstates visas on arrival for select countries

Travellers from countries previously included in the e-visa programme are no longer required to apply for visas in advance

Saudi Arabia has reinstated the visa-on-arrival programme first introduced in 2019 for citizens of any country eligible for the e-visa programme, regardless of the airline they are travelling with.

Visas on arrival are also available to visitors holding a valid US, UK or Schengen visa, although they must have used it at least once to enter the issuing country or region  and must travel on one of Saudi Arabia’s national carriers – Saudia, Flynas or Flyadeal.

Visitors will also need to purchase Covid-19 insurance, which they can do at any of Saudi Arabia’s international airports.

Speaking about the easing of travel restrictions, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia and STA chairman Ahmed Al Khateeb said: “Restoring the visa-on-arrival program marks the final step in returning Saudi to a pre-pandemic level of openness and makes it one of the most accessible destinations in the world for leisure, business and religious travel.

“This decision by the government will further support the many thousands of people who depend on tourism for their livelihoods while welcoming the world back to the destination with the warm hospitality for which the Saudi people are renowned.”


Saudi Arabia recently announced the lifting of all Covid-19 related travel restrictions. Visitors to Saudi no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a PCR test to enter the country, institutional quarantine requirements have been entirely removed, and social distancing rules have been lifted. However, masks are still mandatory in enclosed public places.

Saudi opened to international leisure travellers in September 2019, less than six months before its borders were closed due to the pandemic. The country shifted its tourism strategy to focus on building domestic visitation, opening 11 destinations and creating more than 270 tourism packages.

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