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Everything on the Saudi Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW)-How to Issue the E-visa Waiver for Saudia 

With Saudia Arabia pushing for their 2030 vision for tourism, they just opened a new electronic visa waiver for UK and other country citizens. This is great progress for those wanting to perform Umrah since, in the past five years, Saudi Arabia has made more progress towards opening its border for tourists and pilgrims than in the previous generation. 

Now, there are several options for those Muslims who not only want to visit Saudia for tourism but also for Umrah. 

What is the Saudi eVisa waiver? 

The Saudi electronic visa waiver (eVisa) is a new online system that allows citizens of certain countries to enter Saudi Arabia without obtaining a traditional visa. This electronic visa waiver promotes tourism and business travel to Saudi Arabia by making the visa application process faster and more convenient. 

If you are travelling to Saudi Arabia for tourism, business, medical treatment, or study, you can apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver. An EVW permits a single entry visit of up to six months. 

You need to have a confirmed booking and apply for the visa waiver from 90 days up to 48 hours prior to travel. 

You will receive an email reply with your visa issued to the email you submit within 24hrs. In most cases, however, this will be within a few minutes. 

The visa waiver is available to citizens from the United Kingdom.

I also believe they have opened it to citizens of the US, Schengen visa holders and permanent residents of the UK, US, and any EU country. Since it was announced in July 2023 that they have opened it for the above countries as well, however, this is not confirmed where you apply for those. It just says Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The only option there is the visa waiver. Once you make an account it also shows other countries. If you have successfully applied from other EU, US or Schengen please let me know via comment.

The Electronic Visa waiver is very similar to what the UK has for Saudi citizens but also what nationals of certain countries can apply for when travelling to the USA, which is ESTA. 

If you want to find some information on the visa waiver for UK citizens check out the GOV website

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What is the cost of the Saudi Visa Waiver? 

The cost of this evisa is significantly lower than the tourist or the Umrah visa option. It costs around 40 USD, but it is for a single entry. This means that if you want to enter a second time, you will need to re-issue the visa and pay again 40USD. 

It might be better to issue a tourist visa for those wanting to go to Saudi Arabia multiple times within a year. 

Can you perform Umrah with the new Saudi Electronic Visa Waiver?

I was waiting for the dust to settle before writing this article as I received a lot of questions about the visa waiver and whether you can perform Umrah with it. 

With the initial announcement, they didn’t confirm that the government would allow you to perform Umrah. However, several people have emailed me that it is possible, without a problem, to issue yourself the EVW visa and go for Umrah. Just make sure you have a copy of the visa waiver on your phone to show.

The government is allowing tourism, and under tourism, they have included performing Umrah – which you can do on a tourist visa. Hence, I assume they go under the same category. After all, the objective is to bring more tourists to Saudi Arabia, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. 

electronic visa waiver for saudi arabia for uk citizens

How to issue the Saudi Visa Waiver EVW? 

The process of issuing the electronic visa for Saudi is pretty straightforward. 

The visa waiver can be obtained through the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on this link. 

saudi visa waiver process

Once you are there, it gives you the option for the Visa Waiver. 

You will then need to complete the relevant details and upload a photo. 

Saudi visa waiver how to apply process

Keep in mind that the EVW doesn’t include health insurance, and I would strongly suggest you always have good health insurance on top of any government-issued ones. You don’t want to risk your health. 

Once you complete and pay for the application, you will receive your confirmation via email and then the approval up to 24 hours later. As I mentioned above, in some cases this is instant or within a few minutes.

Applying for the new electronic visa for saudi arabia for umrah

Should you apply for a Visa Waiver or a Tourist Visa when going to Umrah?

As I mentioned above, this really depends on how many times you want to enter Saudi. If you apply for a tourist visa, which costs around £110 per person you will have multiple entries, and you can stay for up to 90 days. With the Visa Waiver, you can only enter once and stay up to 6 months, and it costs £35. 

Children will need their own visas, and they pay full price. 

Saudi Visa Waiver and Children

It has come to my attention that many are struggling with the visa waiver for Saudi and the children’s application. If you have kids you are applying for, this can be done under your account you don’t need to create a new account for each child.

Also, the system doesn’t have an option for “child” under the EVW program; in this case, many people just enter student as the occupation is a required field. The system recognises they are a child, and all their details go through.

It seems Saudi didn’t think about this process when they created the application that many people will be applying for their kids.

If you are struggling with the process for your children, you need to add the application number not your password number or the visa number.

For people from the UK who want to save cost and know that they will not be going multiple times, then the new visa waiver is no brain. If they also allow US, EU and Schengen visa holders to apply for the EVW then this is also excellent news and, again, a considerable saving for families going once per year. 

You can read more about the tourist visa and transit visas on the site. 

Also, check out our DIY Umrah packages we have put together for you as well as our other guides. 

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Do a DIY Umrah; (Do-It-Yourself) Umrah

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Save 70% of 5 star hotels in Makkah and Medinah during peak season. Imagine the best Umrah possible.

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muhammad

Friday 2nd of February 2024

Do you need the UK passport to apply or the BRP( british resident permit) will be equally accepted?

Muslim Travel Girl

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

You need a passport from your country but if you have permit you need that too.

rabeka

Friday 26th of January 2024

accompanying the child”. I have confirmed with saudi mofa website the correct visa application number of mine so im definetly putting the correct one in however for some reason it isnt registering my visa application number against this?? Please can you help me?? I leave in a weeks time and i have tried like several times and contacted mofa saudi official website but had no joy.

Rabeka

Muniba

Thursday 4th of January 2024

Salaams. I am filling in the EVW application in for my mother who is unemployed and my uncle who is retired. Unemployed and retired do not show up as an option for occupation so what is recommended to fill in for this field? Any advice would be appreciated. Jazakallah

Muslim Travel Girl

Friday 5th of January 2024

just put anything it doesnt really matter

Mo

Friday 29th of December 2023

Hey there, quick question I have had the E-visa waiver approved and they have emailed it to me however on the form when I filled it out I put arrival date as 9th January 2024 however on the waiver it’s written as 1/9/2024 in the American date format but the other dates on the waiver like date of birth are written in the British format (like 28/12/2023). So I’m just abit worried with the date of arrival if they think it’s september rather than January anyone else having this issue ?

Muslim Travel Girl

Friday 5th of January 2024

no, they won't it shows on their system

Bash

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

Salaams People seem to be struggling with the children applications When you fill in the form with the date of birth it will pick it up that its a child It will have an additional box appear asking for application number of dependent and passport number Make sure you`ve done the adult visa first and then Just look to the adult visa and copy the adult application no that you have at the bottom It begins with an E and then 9 numbers, just copy only the numbers (without the E) into the box that asks for application number and then fill box with passport number and relationship, choose any occupation as it doesn't matter If you forgot to fill any box in on the form, it will highlight that box in red If it comes up with "invalid application or visa not paid" then you've copied the wrong number, you can go back to applications and copy the number on the left hand side It will then go through Inshallah May Allah accept your Umrah and good deeds

Shelina

Tuesday 27th of February 2024

@Bash, Jazakallah. It worked!! i have been trying PAST 5 Days and i was entering the adults Visa number instead of application number and going round in circles! Thank you.

Bash

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

@rabeka, Wasalaams Sorry just seen your message Unfortunately I did not get any notification about your question Did you manage to sort it out?

rabeka

Friday 26th of January 2024

@Bash, Salam, I have done the Visa Waivers for the adults successfully however having so much difficulty to do the children. I have contacted the saudi official visa website and they have not been helpful. I was advised that to put my visa application number and passport number down before proceeding, which i have done and than i would proceeded to click on for Exmeption Visa Waiver however it keeps saying to add my application number of the person accompanying the child? However i have done this?? These have been my exact steps - visit - visa.mofa.gova.sa/ log into my account & verify click takes to a page where at the top it says list of visa applications, where it asks for order no. and passport no. than have options below for to click on : Enquiry Clear data Electronic visa exemption Add a new request

So when proceeding to do my childs visa i put my application and passport no. down and than clicked 'electronic visa exemption' and than takes u to the page where u fill the standard details i.e name, address, attach passport photo of child etc. Once i completed this and tried to save it keeps saying " please put your application number down of the person accompanying the child". I have confirmed with saudi mofa website the correct visa application number of mine so im definetly putting the correct one in however for some reason it isnt registering my visa application number against this?? Please can you help me?? I leave in a weeks time and i have tried like several times and contacted mofa saudi official website but had no joy.

Rabeka