Saudi Arabia Launches Free Four-Day Transit Visas for Air Travelers
Today, January 30th, 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an electronic service that enables the issuance of a Transit Visa for Stop-over.
The Transit Visa for Stop-over will allow people arriving in Saudi Arabia by air to enter the country to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, visit the Prophet’s Mosque, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Diriyah in Riyadh and Al Balad in Jeddah, and participate in tourism events or other leisure activities while they are in transit.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that the service will come into effect immediately. This means that as of today, air travelers will be able to apply for the transit visa through the electronic platforms of Saudia Airlines and Flynas. The application procedure is expected to last about 3 minutes.
Then, the application will be forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ unified national visa platform for processing. If the application is approved, the digital visa will be issued with the ticket immediately. The beneficiary will then receive it in his or her email.
To make this possible, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs required coordination with relevant authorities and cooperation with national airlines.
The electronic Transit Visa for Stop-over service is free of charge, except for an admin or health insurance fee. Although it will have a validity of three months after the date of issuance, the Transit Visa for Stop-over will only authorize a four-day stay in Saudi Arabia because it is specific for air travelers who are in transit.
All passengers traveling on Saudi Arabia’s national carriers can request the Transit Visa for Stop-over up to three months in advance. They must have a stopover at one of Saudi Arabia’s airports. Saudi Arabia should not be their final destination, though.
The Ministry emphasized that the implementation of the electronic Transit Visa for Stop-over service aligns with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by strengthening the country’s position and taking advantage of its strategic location as a connecting point between continents, an attractive stopover station for travelers, and a global tourist destination.