A Comprehensive Guide to Transit/Stopover Visas in Saudi Arabia
Whether you are planning a short stay in Saudi Arabia or just passing through, it is essential to understand the transit/stopover visa requirements. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about transit/stopover visas in Saudi Arabia, including eligibility, the application process, and activities to make the most of your trip.
What is a Transit/Stopover Visa?
A transit/stopover visa is a special type of visa that allows people to enter Saudi Arabia for a limited time while en route to another destination. This visa permits travelers to perform Umrah, visit the Prophet’s Mosque, attend tourism events, and explore the country briefly. Religious travelers must visit Nusuk.sa to schedule Umrah or Ziyarah appointments if they plan to visit Makkah or Madinah.
Eligibility and Special Offers
Anyone can apply for a transit/stopover visa. Passengers flying with Saudia or Flynas and stopping over in Saudi Arabia en route to another destination are eligible for special offers. Travelers flying with other airlines should apply for a standard transit/stopover visa.
Application Process and Issuance
Applying for a transit/stopover visa takes just a few minutes. Once you have booked and paid for your flights, your visa will be emailed to you almost instantly. You can apply for this visa up to 90 days before your travel date.
Cost and Accommodations
The transit/stopover visa is free but is subject to administrative and medical insurance fees. A complimentary one-night hotel stay is included with the visa when booking with Saudia, subject to availability. Alternatively, you can book your hotel through booking websites.
Validity and Activities
The transit/stopover visa is valid for 96 hours upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. Visa holders can perform Umrah during their stopover by applying via Nusuk.sa. However, this visa cannot be used for Hajj travel. You can also apply for a transit/stopover visa if you are traveling for holiday or business meetings, as long as your stay in Saudi does not exceed 96 hours.
Making the Most of Your Stopover
To make the most of your time in Saudi Arabia, consider taking day trips in Jeddah, Riyadh, or the Madina Province. These cities offer unique experiences and allow you to explore the rich history and culture of the country.
Support and Driving
If you need help while in Saudi Arabia, dial 930 to reach a 24-hour tourist helpline. Transit/stopover visa holders can drive during their 96-hour stay, provided they have an approved international driver’s license. Be sure to familiarize yourself with local driving rules.
A transit/stopover visa is a convenient way to explore Saudi Arabia during a short stay or layover. By understanding the eligibility, application process, and activities available, you can make the most of your time in this fascinating country.