What is the change? Saudi Arabia has begun issuing tourist e-visas and visas on arrival for holders of U.S., U.K. and EU Schengen Area visas.

What does the change mean? Eligible visa holders can now apply for tourist visas online or upon arrival. Visas will be valid for one year, and will allow multiple entries and stays of up to 90 days during the one-year period. The visas are not valid for business or work activities, only tourism.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The change was announced earlier this month.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist e-visas.
  • Who is affected: U.S., U.K. and EU Schengen Area visa holders traveling to Saudi Arabia for tourism.
  • Impact on business: No impact. Business travel procedures have not changed.

Additional information: In September, Saudi Arabia launched a new tourist visa system and began issuing tourist e-visas and visas on arrival for nationals of 49 countries. Officials have now moved to allow nationals of other countries to apply for tourist e-visas and visas on arrival provided they hold a U.S., U.K. or EU Schengen visa.

Analysis & Comments: The recent change expands the e-visa and visa-on-arrival system to U.S., U.K. and EU Schengen visa holders. Travelers should note that while these visas are valid for tourist visits, they cannot be used for business activities, work, or performing umrah.

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