On September 27, 2019 The government of Saudi Arabia announced with much fanfare that they will start issuing E-Visas (electronic visa) for tourists traveling to Saudi Arabia. This E-Visa will be valid for one year for multiple entries.
This is a historic move since before this announcement, Saudi Arabia did not issue any tourist visas. The country was basically closed to tourism unless you obtained a religious visa to go see Mecca and Medina as part of the Hajj or obtained a business visa for business travel.
With this important move the government has opened the country’s borders to tourism. The reason for the change is to boost and diversify the country’s economy which is currently highly dependent on oil.
At this time 50 countries including the United States can apply for the E-Visa online. Citizens of the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman are exempt from a tourist visa.
The process is very simple by completing the online form, paying online and receiving the Saudi Arabia E-Visa by e-mail.
With the introduction of the tourist E-Visa Saudi Arabia is encouraging and supporting international tourism. A country once closed to tourism is opening its doors to the global community!