saudi arabia tourist visa

Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa For Indians - Definitive Guide

Tourism in Saudi Arabia until early 2019 has been majorly religious based. However, with the introduction of the Saudi Arabia tourist visa, this is set to change. With its amazing historical sites, red sea diving, museums, and much more, this country is waiting to be explored. Although the Saudi tourist visa is available as an e-visa and visa on arrival for 49 countries, the Saudi Arabia tourist visa for Indians is in the offline form.

What is the Saudi Tourist Visa?

The tourist permit is an endorsement that lets people enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage in tourism activities. The visa is issued as a multiple-entry time and will be valid for 1 year with a maximum stay duration of 90 days. The Saudi Arabia tourist visa from India has to be made through an embassy or consulate. However, in the following years, the Saudi tourist visa from India may even be issued as an e-visa or visa on arrival.

How to Apply for Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?

The application for the tourist permit is done in a unique way. You will not be able to apply for it directly at the embassy or consulate. Although, currently 49 nationalities can simply use an online portal and apply for an e-visa. Before starting an application for the Saudi tourist visa for Indian citizens, you must ensure that you are eligible to travel on the tourist permit.  You can then apply as per the following - 

  1. Visit one of the Saudi embassy authorized agency. 
  2. Fill in the application form for the tourist permit. 
  3. Submit your documents to the agency.
  4. The agency will then forward your application to the Saudi embassy/consulate in India.

Note:- You cannot directly approach the embassy for your application.  

Eligibility for Saudi Tourist Visa

To be able to apply for the tourist permit, you must be eligible for it. In order to do so, you must meet the following conditions - 

  • You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry in Saudi.
  • You must possess sufficient funds to cover your expenses in the country.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age. If you are below it, you must be accompanied by a legal guardian. 
  • Your sole purpose of the visit must be tourism.

Documents Required for Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa

As per the Saudi Arabia tourist visa requirements from India, you must need the following documents for your applications - 

  • A valid passport
  • 2 photos as per the specifications
  • Proof of accommodation in Saudi Arabia
  • Round trip flight tickets
  • If employed, an employee letter from the Indian company
  • Bank statement of the last three months
  • Complete travel itinerary

Photo Specification for Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa

As per the Saudi Arabia tourist visa photo requirements, the following are the photo specifications required - 

  • Recently taken
  • Coloured, with a white background
  • Dimensions: 35mm X 45mm
  • Face should cover 80% of the photo
  • Facial expression - neutral
  • Head in a central location
  • Eyeglasses are not permitted
  • Headwear - permitted in case of religious reasons

Processing Time for Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa

The time for processing the application usually depends on the volume of applications at the embassy. Normally, Saudi permits are processed fast. As a result, in most cases, you can receive the processed visa within 2 working days after the submission. Therefore, ensure that you apply at least a week in advance.

Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa Fees

The Saudi tourist visa fees for Indian citizens include the application fee as well as the insurance charges that vary according to the age. Apart from this, there may be service charges for the authorized agencies as well as any additional delivery charges, etc. As a result, check the exact amount before starting the application. 

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Entry Tourist Visa - Normal 30 days 3 months 10830.0
visit Single entry Normal 90 days 3 months 16000.0

After Submission

Once you have submitted the application at the authorized agencies, they will then forward them to the embassy/consulate for processing. In the meanwhile, you will not be able to withdraw or modify the application. As a result, ensure that you provide correct information and the right documents. Providing fake information or false documentation can lead to visa rejection. 

How to Check Visa Status?

Since the mode of application is offline, it is generally not possible to track the visa status. Also, the processing time being short has also made it unnecessary to check the status. In case you require any additional help or if you need more information, you can contact the travel agency you applied through.

Note:- In case of e-visa applications from outside India, you may track it online through the portal. 

When you have this visa

Once you have received your tourist permit, you must keep in mind the following key points to ensure that you have a safe and sound trip- 

Before travelling

  • You must note the validity, stay duration, and the number of entries provided. Your trip must be in accordance with these.
  • Carry all your travel documents without fail. 

At the border 

  • You will have to show the documents to the border control officers at your port of entry.
  • Possessing the visa will not directly allow you entry. Your entry will be decided by the border patrol officers.

In the country

  • While you are in the country, you must not take part in any kind of work. 
  • You must carry a copy of your passport and visa while you are travelling within the country.
  • The tourist permit does not grant entry to non-muslims into the holy cities of Mecca and Medinah. 
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has strict laws regarding dress codes, public behaviour, alcohol, etc. You must strictly abide by the laws and customs during your stay. Failure to do so will lead to deportation and judicial action.
  • You must leave the country on or before your expiry date or at the end of your permitted stay duration, whichever comes first. Staying back in the country after this will attract hefty fines. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Extend My Saudi Arabia Tourist permit?

It is not possible to extend the Saudi tourist permit. The country is strict on rules regarding the visas. As a result, you must leave the country without attempting to extend. This applies for the e-visa as well. Although, other long term categories may be extended in certain conditions. 

What is the Medical Test for Saudi Tourist permit?

There is no medical test requirements for the Saudi tourist permit. The medical tests are only mandatory for work permits and other categories. However, in order to keep the citizens in the country as well as yourself safe, it is highly recommended that you get a medical check-up done before travelling. 

Can I Convert My tourist visa for Saudi into a Work Visa?

No, it is strictly not permitted or possible to convert the tourist permit into a work permit. Also, you are not allowed to work while you are on this category. In case you require to work, you must apply for the work permit once you are back in your home country. 

How Much Bank Balance is required to get a Saudi Arabia tourism permit?

As per the regulations, there is no mandatory requirements regarding the number of funds needed. The embassy requires that you possess enough funds to sustain your stay in the country. The bank statements also need to show steady transactions. Ensure that you do not have any unusual funds flowing in.

How many months before the trip should I apply for a Saudi Tourist visa?

The Saudi tourist category is issued within a few days itself. In extreme cases, it may take slightly longer. As a result, if you apply for it a week or two in advance, you will most likely receive the visa in time for your flight. 

Does Saudi Arabia grant a tourist visa to Muslims to visit Mecca and Medina?

Yes, the tourist visa can be used to enter the cities of Mecca and Medina for travellers belonging to the Muslim religion. However, the cities are restricted to people from other categories. If you are visiting the country for Hajj or Umrah, you must apply for the Hajj visa or Umrah visa instead of the regular tourist visa 

 

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