Monday, December 9, 2013

How to get Visa to Visit Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the most difficult places in the world to visit. Anyone can visit Saudi Arabia but Jews are not granted visas to the Kingdom. The Saudi authorities have started tentatively to issue tourist visas, but only for those willing to travel as part of a group (minimum four people) organized by a recognized tour company (including dive companies) for the last six years. You can find the list of approved international and local Saudi tour companies who can arrange the visas online, issued under the sponsorship of Saudi (under its ‘Discover Saudi Arabia’ program). To issue a tourist visa it takes 14 days from the date of request. Also note that the validity of your passports must be for a minimum of six months, and women must be accompanied by their husband or brother (who must also arrive and leave Saudi Arabia at the same time) if they are under 30 years old. Men and women are only allowed to travel together (and granted a visa to do so) if they are (a) married (with an official marriage license) or (b) form part of a group. An unmarried couple is not permitted to travel alone together in Saudi Arabia (and doing so runs the risk of apprehension). Regarding the tourist visa, two couples can only travel together if they have come as ‘individuals in a group’. Any local tour company who has an excellent reputation locally is Sadd Al-Samallaghi Est based in Jeddah can offer you advice and guide you. 

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