When travelling, it is sometimes necessary to transit through a different country before reaching your final destination. Transit is the passage through an airport to change planes without leaving the international area of the airport. This may be for a short period of time or for a few hours, but in some cases it may also be longer and even require an overnight stay. In this context, it is important to know whether a visa is required for transit through a particular country. Saudi Arabia is a country where many travellers stop over on their way to their final destination. But what are the transit regulations in Saudi Arabia? Do travellers need a visa to transit through this country? In this article, we will answer these questions and explain the rules for transit in Saudi Arabia.
What are the rules for transit or stopovers in Saudi Arabia?
The transit visa for Saudi Arabia applies if you are transiting or stopping over at different airports in the country.
Travellers transiting through Saudi Arabia can do so via any of the following airports: King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina and Yanbu Regional Airport.
It is also important to know the duration of transit and stopover in the country which requires obtaining a visa online in advance.
If you are a transit traveller to Saudi Arabia, you do not need a visa if you stay in the international zone of the airport and your transit does not exceed 12 hours. In this case, you can stay in the transit zone without having to leave the airport or obtain a visa.
When is a visa required for a stopover or transit in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is an increasingly popular country for transit travellers, particularly those travelling to Asia. If you are considering transit to Saudi Arabia, it is important to know if you are eligible for transit without a visa. Here are the requirements to qualify for transit without a visa to Saudi Arabia:
- Transit time: You are eligible for visa-free transit if your transit in Saudi Arabia does not exceed 12 hours.
- Final destination: You must have a final destination outside Saudi Arabia and have a confirmed ticket for that destination.
- Airlines: You must travel with an airline approved by the Saudi authorities to be eligible for visa-free transit.
- Travel documents: You must be in possession of valid travel documents, including a passport valid for at least six months and a confirmed airline ticket to your final destination.
If you do not meet any of these conditions, you will need to apply for a transit visa for Saudi Arabia. Cases where a transit visa is required include
- Transit time of more than 12 hours: If your transit time in Saudi Arabia is more than 12 hours, you must apply for a transit visa.
- Final destination in Saudi Arabia: If your final destination is Saudi Arabia, you must apply for an appropriate visa for your stay.
- Non-approved airlines: If you are travelling with an airline that is not approved by the Saudi authorities, you will need to apply for a transit visa.
- Invalid travel documents: If you do not have all the necessary travel documents or if they have expired.
If you are in transit in Saudi Arabia and do not meet the requirements for transit without a visa, you will need to apply for a transit visa for your stay. Here are the steps to obtain a transit visa for Saudi Arabia:
What are the different types of transit visa for Saudi Arabia?
There are two types of transit visa for Saudi Arabia:
- 72-hour transit visa: This visa allows you to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 72 hours in transit to your final destination.
- 96-hour transit visa: This visa allows you to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 96 hours in transit to your final destination.
Both visas can be obtained directly online through the official website or from a service provider.
How to apply for a transit visa for Saudi Arabia?
Applying for a Saudi Arabia transit visa can be done online or in person. Here are the steps to follow to apply for a transit visa online:
- Access the website of the Saudi embassy or consulate in your country and complete the online visa application form.
- Download all the documents required for your application, such as your passport, flight ticket and visa application form.
- Pay the visa fee online.
- Submit your visa application online.
The processing time for a Saudi Arabia transit visa application varies depending on the Saudi embassy or consulate in your country. In general, processing can take from 3 to 7 working days.
Visa fees for transit to Saudi Arabia also vary depending on your country of residence. On average, the cost of a transit visa for Saudi Arabia is approximately 80 Euros. It is important to note that the visa fee is non-refundable, even if your application is refused.
In conclusion, if you do not meet the requirements for visa-free transit to Saudi Arabia, you will need to apply for a transit visa. There are two types of transit visa for Saudi Arabia, the 72-hour visa and the 96-hour visa. You can apply for a transit visa online by completing an online application form, uploading the required documents and paying the visa fee. Processing times may vary and the visa fee is non-refundable. It is important to allow sufficient time for the transit visa application to avoid any problems while in transit in Saudi Arabia.