Saudi Arabia offers free four-day transit stop-over visa
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Saudi Arabia’s new free stopover visa: Here’s what you need to know

Saudi Arabia’s new free stopover visa: Here’s what you need to know

Visitors can apply for the transit visa, which is valid for three months, starting today through Saudia Airlines and Flynas’ electronic platforms

Gulf Business
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the relevant authorities and national airlines, has launched an electronic service, allowing visitors who are stopping over in Saudi Arabia to get an entry visa into the kingdom, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The transit visa for stopovers allows those in transit to enter the kingdom to perform Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque, in addition to visiting the country for tourism purposes.

The ministry added that the new service will be effective from Monday, January 30.

The Stopover Visa application will be automatically available through the airline booking platforms for all passengers traveling to their final destination on SAUDIA or flynas airlines. A stopover can be made through any airport in Saudi. For many, the application process can be completed in under three minutes and can be applied for up to 90 days before travel.

This application will automatically be sent to the Unified National Visa Platform at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to process, following which the digital visa will be issued and sent to the beneficiary via e-mail.

Free four-day visa 

The ministry explained that the transit visa for stopovers is free of charge, and will be immediately issued with a ticket. It will be valid for three months and entitles its holder to a four-day stay in the kingdom.

The ministry reiterated that the ‘e-transit visa for stopover service’ will contribute to achieving the objectives of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 by bolstering its position as a global tourist destination.

In September last year, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism introduced a new visa scheme for residents of the GCC states.

Responding to this development, Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and member of the Board at Saudi Tourism Authority, said:  “The announcement of Saudi’s inaugural stopover visa is a landmark example of integrated public and private sector cooperation. Four of the top ten global routes were in or out of Saudi airports in 2022, a testament to the appeal of Destination Saudi.

“In partnership with our national air carriers, SAUDIA and Flynas, we are using digital platforms to provide an instant stopover visa, which only enhances Saudi Arabia’s accessibility and our world-class destination offering.”

Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, and chairman of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “The new stopover visa is yet another proof point in Saudi’s commitment to developing and encouraging growth in the tourism sector. It is open for travellers passing through Saudi on our national carriers whether for leisure, business or Umrah. We will continue to work together across government and the tourism ecosystem as Saudi transforms into a leading global tourism destination.”

Read: Saudi Arabia offers electronic tourist visa to GCC residents

More benefits revealed

Stopover Visa holders will be eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during the stopover when booking through SAUDIA.

To help visitors make the most of their stopover, custom 24, 48, 72 and 96-hour itineraries have been developed to inspire visitors to stroll through Jeddah’s Al-Balad, or visit the Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, one of Saudi’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Visitors can also use the Stopover Visa to break up long-haul flights or book a bonus trip to experience Saudi’s burgeoning entertainment and seasonal events calendar or even extend a business trip on the way to their final destination.

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