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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. 

Umrah Price Comparison: Umrah Package Agents vs DIY Umrah Which is Cheaper?

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

The Best DIY Umrah Packages 2023 Done for You

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DIY Umrah E-Book

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

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sofia

Monday 1st of April 2024

salaam sister,

Despite the fact that it advises applying for the waiver visa up to 90 days before to departure. But if I apply now for August, I was wondering whether I would still get accepted.

Muslim Travel Girl

Tuesday 2nd of April 2024

You probably would, but why? The waiver is pretty much guaranteed.

Luce

Thursday 21st of March 2024

Has anyone had any problems with uploading the copy of their passport when applying for the visa waiver? I have been trying for months and no matter what format I save it in it will not upload! I can upload the photo with my problems! Contacted and tried to ring them but no answer?! We travel in 2 weeks and panicking now!

darnish

Tuesday 16th of April 2024

@Luce, I know this is a late response but to those having the same problem, the file size should be around 100kb use an online file compressor to reduce the file size to that size and it should work

Muslim Travel Girl

Monday 25th of March 2024

if you cannot do this online, just do visa on arrival.

Mohammad

Tuesday 12th of March 2024

Salams I need help with the evisa as I am applying for 2 children under 18 keeps bring up a message about not paid or not entered dependant info which I did

Iddy amin

Monday 11th of March 2024

Is it true with umrah visa you dont have to book rawda. U have a spot guarenteed with the visa? Please confirm

Muslim Travel Girl

Tuesday 12th of March 2024

I have heard the same: agents have some spaces available. But this is with agent-booked packages. So if you are going on a package ask your agent.

Malik

Monday 11th of March 2024

Salam, I'm being asked for a KSA phone number, since I'm from the UK I don't have one. What should I do?

Muslim Travel Girl

Tuesday 12th of March 2024

You don't need a KSA number not sure why it is asking or where, are you in the correct form?