Saudi Arabia Entry Points for Air and Cruise Passengers
By introducing an electronic visa system also known as the online visa and e-visa, the Saudi Arabia government has made visiting KSA highly convenient for foreigners. Those trying to enter Saudi Arabia via airport or seaport can apply for an online visa and get official travel authorization within a few days. On this page, you will get all the necessary details on Saudi Arabia e-visa entry points for people arriving via air or cruise ship.
Saudi Arabia Electronic Visa
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plans to diversify its economy, and tourism is a critical component. In 2019, Saudi Arabia provided an e-Visa system for tourists, welcoming travelers from around the world and making the process easy. Travelers are allowed to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days. And the best part is that they can receive a multiple-entry tourist e-Visa. By the year 2030, the Saudi Arabian government plans to welcome 100 million tourists and invest up to USD 200,000 in the tourism sector.
The maritime short-term e-Visa is intended to increase the number of travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia on cruise ships.
Visitors from 49 eligible nations can travel to Saudi Arabia on an e-Visa. The new e-visa system was introduced by Saudi Arabia in September 2019. The application process is very simple and visa forms are available online so you can apply from home avoiding all the hassles. The e-visa is processed in as little as three business days. You can apply for a Saudi e-Visa by uploading all the documents, completing the visa form, and paying the e-visa fees.
Saudi Entry Points for Travelers with Tourist e-visas
It is essential to identify the approved Saudi e-Visa entry points for every traveler regardless of their country of origin before departing for Saudi Arabia with an e-Visa. Online visa makes it comparatively effortless and hassle-free to enter Saudi Arabia. However, at the moment only some entry points facilitate e-Visa holders. Thus, it is essential to identify these checkpoints to avoid unnecessary complications.
Saudi Arabia entry via an Airport:
Saudi Arabia is home to 15 domestic airports and 13 international airports. It's crucial to remember that not all these airports allow holders of e-Visas to enter the country. The following are the government-approved entry points for e-visa holders:
- King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh
- King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah
- King Fahd International, Dammam
- Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul-Aziz International, Madinah
Saudi Arabia currently has only a few access points due to security reasons but this number is likely to grow as the nation builds its tourism infrastructure.
Entering via Bahrain:
There are many other border entry points that visitors can use to enter KSA. For instance, travelers can enter Saudi Arabia through Bahrain using the King Fahd Bridge border crossing. There is another way to enter Saudi Arabia from Bahrain, which is via the city of Khobar located less than 50 kilometers from Dammam. It is a 25-kilometer causeway. Visitors entering KSA through this checkpoint must show their passport, approved and valid e-Visa, and other travel documents
Entering via UAE:
Visitors arriving from the United Arab Emirates can enter Saudi Arabia through the Al Batha border crossing. Please remember that this entry point is accessible by car. The border crossing is around 500 kilometers southeast of Riyadh, connecting KSA with the UAE via the western edge of the Emirates.
Points to Remember:
E-Visa holders must have their identification documents on hand to show them to the border control officials. Having an e-visa does not guarantee entry into the KSA. Travelers will be permitted to enter the country by the Saudi border control agents only after they verify all the documents and don’t deem the visitor a threat to national security.
Check out the list of necessary documents/evidence that e-visa holders must show upon arriving in the KSA.
- A passport with more than six months left of validity
- A valid e-Visa
- A return ticket or proof of onward destination
- Hotel reservation/booking proof
- Health insurance covering the length of your stay
- Proof of financial security, such as a bank statement
Before boarding, eVisa eligibility will also be checked. Per its e-Visa policy, the passengers unable to provide adequate information may be denied entry and will have to wait for further instructions from the Saudi Arabia government.
Saudi eVisa Requirements for Cruise Passengers:
In 2021, Saudi Arabia allowed cruise ship passengers to apply for an e-visa to visit and stay in Saudi Arabia. However, it is worth noting that cruise travelers need several travel documents to show the border control agents. This includes:
- An approved marine eVisa for Saudi Arabia.
- A valid passport with six months left in its expiration.
- Proof of a purchased cruise ship ticket.
Online submissions for Saudi marine e-Visa applications are allowed.
Application for a Nautical Transit e-Visa:
An electronic maritime visa for Saudi Arabia can be obtained online. Here is the three-step application process:
- Fill out the e-maritime visa form.
- The Saudi Cruise Company verifies data from the application.
- The applicant receives the authorized cruise visa.
Visa applications submitted electronically are handled fast. Once the online form has been submitted, cruise passengers will quickly receive their granted visa. The Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate in the applicant's home nation is unnecessary, just like when requesting a standard tourist e-Visa. The entire application procedure is done online.
Who Needs a Saudi Arabian E-Marine Visa?
Passengers eligible for the Saudi Arabia e-maritime visa are as follows:
- Those boarding a cruise that sails through Saudi Arabia
- Those traveling on a cruise with a travel itinerary including a stay in Saudi Arabia
Points to Note:
- The cruise e-Visa will not allow foreigners to stay in Saudi Arabia for an extended time.
- When a cruise calls at a port in Saudi Arabia, guests may use this transit visa to fly into the country and travel to the port or for brief trips.
- Visitors who intend to stay longer in Saudi Arabia should apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist visa, which is also entirely online.
Cruise Destinations in Saudi Arabia:
Jeddah is Saudi Arabia's homeport serving as the embarkation point for Red Sea cruises. Cruise visitors can fly into King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and travel by land to the port if they hold an approved e-maritime visa.
There are several port towns in Saudi Arabia, including:
- Dammam (Top beach spot)
- Jeddah (to enter Makkah)
- King Abdullah Economic City (to enter Medina)
- Yanbu (Ideal for scuba diving)
The typical trip lasts seven days, and travelers may have the chance to travel to Jordan and Egypt.
An e-Visa usually takes 1 to 2 business days to issue, while a visa obtained through an embassy or consulate takes 7-10 business days and is only suitable for a year.
Visitors who have been granted an e-Visa are entitled to a 90-day total stay in the country with multiple entries permitted. Remember that this e-Visa is only suitable for a year after it is issued.
The total cost of the Saudi Arabia electronic visa through Visa Gov is between $$ and $$. This covers the cost of the visa, health insurance, and all Visa Gov services, such as document review before submission and round-the-clock customer support.
Any point of entry into Saudi Arabia offers Visa on Arrival to visitors. Candidates for visas on arrival in Saudi Arabia must report immediately to immigration counters to begin the procedure. They might have to wait in line to request the visa application form, which is the initial step. An e-visa is a better and more convenient option compared to a visa on arrival. Also, check if you are eligible to obtain a visa on arrival before departing.