The Saudi Arabian government has reopened the visa-on-arrival scheme for holders of valid visas for the US, UK and Schengen area.
The move comes two weeks after the country lifted all Covid-19-related entry restrictions and returns Saudi to pre-pandemic levels of openness.
Citizens of any country who hold one of the three visas and who are travelling on one of the national carriers – Saudi, Flynas or Flyadeal – can now receive a 12-month tourism visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia without needing to apply in advance.
Visitors holding a valid US, UK or Schengen visa must have used it at least once to enter the issuing country or region in order to qualify for a visa on arrival in Saudi.
Visitors will also need to purchase Covid-19 insurance, which they can do at any international airport.
Citizens of any country eligible for the e-visa program, which was introduced in 2019, may also receive a visa on arrival, regardless of the airline they are travelling with.
“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,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, minister of tourism for Saudi Arabia and chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority.
“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 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 destination and creating more than 270 tourism packages.