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The Saudi tourist visa 2022 / 2023 – Updated

This article has been updated on the 5th of August 2022 to provide you with the latest information required for the new Umrah season 2022 / 2023 starting now. 

If you want to read about how to issue your tourist visa please view the information below

There have been some significant changes to the process which is now simplified so please below. 

I know I started receiving many emails and comments on this so please keep in mind this is updated regularly and the process is checked through various sources. If you want to make your own checks please use the Saudi tourist (which is also where I verify things). 

Also if you want up-to-date changes please sign up for my mailing list and follow me on social media where I post the most updates straight away. 

Latest on Who can enter on a Saudi tourist visa

Saudi Arabia dropped a lot of the Covid requirements and during Ramadan 2022 they also dropped several as well like the Tawakalna app and the Covid vaccine. So you don’t need a vaccine to enter Saudi on a tourist visa.

These rules still apply today when travelling for Umrah on a tourist visa!! 

On the 9th of March 2022, the Ministry announced that they are removing all the previous rules which is fantastic news for those wanting to go for Umrah during this upcoming Ramadan2022.

For starters, there is no PCR test requirement anymore for you in order to board a plane to Saudi Arabia.

There is also no need to book through the Nusak (Eatmarna)app for prayers in Makkah and Medinah as well as for Rawdah visits.

You still need to book Umrah via Nusak (Eatmarna) however. 

You also don’t need to wear masks, but I would 100% recommend you keep your mask on during Umrah, especially at busy times. 

Expired Tourist visas

One question I received is what you can do if you had a tourist visa that you didn’t use? 

If you issued a visa, but Saudi closed their border, and you didn’t use it, and it expired, you can still use it now. They have frozen the time during which the country was closed. 

I was informed, however, that this is only for Saudi tourist visas that have not been used to enter the country. For example, I used my visa for six days in December 2019, and I had to issue a new visa. 

My mum had a visa issued in Feb 2020, and her visa was valid to enter even though it expired in Jan 2021.

Going for Umrah 2022/2023 with the tourist visa 

In short, if you are going for Umrah on a tourist visa (know the rules are different for an Umrah visa, to see the difference read here) this is what you need. 

Please note that Eatmarna changed its name to Nusak, but it is the same app with the same functions. I will be updating the name but remember it is the same app and purpose.

  1. You definitely need your tourist visa
  2. If you are going with children no matter their age they will need a tourist visa as well. My daughter was 2 months when I issued hers. 
  3. You will need the Nusak app(previously called Eatmarna), which you can register by downloading the app and with a phone number from abroad well. You can book slots prior to arriving. 
  4. You don’t need the Muqeem app 
  5. You don’t need the Tawakalna app 
  6. You don’t need to be Covid vaccinated 
  7. You don’t need a meningitis vaccine with a tourist visa. 

If your Nusak app doesn’t show any slots please install and re-install sometimes it glitches. You will need the app to book both Umrah and Rawdah. 

The app is pretty easy to navigate. 

Below is an example of what Nusak(previously Eatmarna) looks like. 

Please note that this is like a traffic system, the red doesn’t mean it’s fully booked but that it is busy and it can be booked out. Also means that sometimes slots have been booked.

Yellow is semi-busy and green is available at all hours.

umrah availabilit march 2022

If you are planning an Umrah and want to save money on your trip then make sure to check out my book with gives you tips on how to save thousands on your Umrah.

Especially during Ramadan and peak travel seasons like school holidays and December.

Are children allowed in Masjid Al Haram when for Umrah?

Updated 5th of August: Children are allowed to enter the mosque and perform Umrah with their parents. There is no age restriction on this and my daughter came with me during Ramadan (she is 3 and performed Umrah). 

If you have a baby and you need a pram, then you can take a pram in Haram and use the ramps on either side of the mosque to enter the first-floor mataf area and perform your tawaf there with your child. 

At the moment children are still not allowed in Medinah in the courtyard, but I am hoping this will change soon. You can pray with your child outside the gates in Medinah in front of the Hilton hotel and the other areas.

Suggestions when coming to Saudi for Umrah

I know many of you are planning trips to Saudi using tourist visas, so here are some of my suggestions. 

Start your trip with Medinah. This way, you will have the option to set up your SIM card and relax in the mosque since it doesn’t require permission for prayers. 

Also, you will be able to relax and not travel, be in Ihram and deal with the applications you will need. 

Then I recommend you get the train to Makkah, which is the best option and much faster and more comfortable. 

We used the train from Medinah, and I have updated the article with photos and new pricing. You can find it here.

Once you have booked your Umrah, you can make your way to Makkah. 

Since you are also in Saudi on tourism, I would recommend you explore another city in Saudia. Jeddah is the perfect gateway for a few days, and many people don’t visit it enough when here for Umrah. 


How to issue a Saudi Tourist Visa

I also have all the breakdowns for you so keep reading. Also at the end, you will find all the updates on how the visa works as this article is updated. 

Saudi Arabia announced a few years ago their Vision 2030 which basically means to expand its tourism sector to 30 million by 2030 not only for Umrah but in general.

This, of course, meant opening Saudi Arabia to tourism and showing the beauty of the land. I have to say judging by their promo video is stunning!

For Muslims, this also means exploring a country that for so long we visited but not really explore as with the Umrah visa we could only go to Jeddah, Makkah and Medinah.

The official Saudi Tourism website is here

You can watch their promo video, check out places to visit, eat, and explore and also a very handy FAQ!

I like the fact that they are modernising Saudi and with this, they are relaxing the dress code for tourists. Check out the post here. 

Tourism chief Ahmed al-Khateeb told Reuters in an interview in the run-up to the official announcement that abayas will not be mandatory for women tourists but modest dress is, including at public beaches.

Now, I can finally take my mum and show her Saudi Arabia. (update: I actually did take her 🙂 )

If you are planning an Umrah and want to save money on your trip then make sure to check out my book with gives you tips on how to save thousands on your Umrah.

Especially during Ramadan and peak travel seasons like school holidays and December.

Saudi Tourist Visa – The Details

Saudi Tourist visa 1resized

Over 49 countries can apply for a Tourist E-visa for Saudi Arabia.

Eligible countries north america for saudi visa
eligible countries for Saudi visa MuslimTravelgirl
Saudi tourist visa eligible countries asia

The Tourist visa is valid for one year and you can spend up to 90 days. It is a Multi-entry visa which means you can go as many times as you want.

You can now issue your OWN Tourist visa for Saudi without the need for an agent!

This is a total game-changer and here is why:

  • You can visit not only the three cities but also any city in Saudi
  • You can issue it on your own via their site ( link below)
  • You pay only £120
  • You can do Umrah as well
  • If you are a single woman you can go alone!

The most amazing and stunning change they did is that single women who before could not do Umrah on their own now can apply for a tourist visa and actually go! Check the site here on the FAQ.

You can perform Umrah on the tourist visa according to their FAQ and by the looks of it, you don’t need specific accommodation or transport. After all, you are a tourist and not specific Umrah

https://muslimtravelgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/umrah-on-saudi-tourist-visa.png

Visa for those not on the list

If your country is not on the list you can be able to get a visa from the Saudi consulate as you belong to a visa from Category B. The process requires a few more steps and documents but it should be possible. Here is what you need:

  • The minimum age of applicant is 18 years old
  • Underage applicants require an individual above 18 years old to be the guardian
  • When applying, passport validity must be for at least 6 months at the time of entering Saudi Arabia
  • Refund in case of rejection is not possible, visa fees are non-refundable
  • Overstay fees: SAR 100 for each day of overstay
  • Religion of applicant is not relevant
  • A sponsor is not required for the visa application
  • Documents required include:
    • Proof of accommodation
    • Return ticket
    • Proof of employment
    • Bank statement
  • Supporting information include:
    • Identification
    • Home address
    • Travel itinerary
  • Time taken to issue an e-Visa is 1-2 business days in most cases
  • Visa pre-checks are conducted by all airlines before boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.

Visa for US, European, British and Schengen visa holders.

It was announced in January 2020 that those holding visas from the UK, US, Schengen can receive a Saudi Tourist visa as well. 

You will need to meet certain conditions like have actually been to the country that issued your visa and have a stamp on your passport, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months, they must travel on Saudi Airlines and then they can receive a visa on arrival.

Please note after many comments and questions,  you cannot use your work, residence or another status in the mentioned countries above to issue a tourist visa. It basically needs to be a visa for the purpose of travel and meet the conditions.

For example A wife of a Pakistani with indefinite leave in the UK cannot issue a tourist visa, she will need an Umrah visa and her husband will also need to issue an Umrah visa himself as she needs a Mahram under to Umrah visa rules. 

An Indian professional in Europe on a work permit cannot issue a tourist visa even though he has a permit to reside in the Schengen and a visa.  

I know there is still an issue applying online so it might be best to raise a ticket or go for the on-arrival visa.

How the Process works

In order to make sure the process works I actually issued my own visa!

Yep, without mahram without anything!

The process is pretty straight forward if your country is on the link you can issue the visa.

Step1: Personal Details

First, you need to register on the portal and confirm your phone and email.

Saudi Tourist Visa Account creation

 

Step2: Personal & Passport Details

Once logged on you can start your passport application.

Saudi Tourist visa personal info MuslimTravelGirl

Each step gives you 10 minutes to complete, which is more than enough.

You can do a group or an individual application. I did the individual as I wanted to see if as a woman I can issue it on my own.

You enter your details such as passport, address etc.

Note: the photo needs to be on non-busy background Just take a photo with your phone and then resize it to fit. You can adjust it as well on the application.

Saudi Tourist visa passport details MuslimTravelgirl

You will also need to provide where you will be staying. I think as with all visas you only provide your first hotel if you are planning to visit many cities.

Saudi Visa residence in Saudi -MuslimTravelGirlresized

Step 3: Medical insurance

Saudi tourist visa medical insurance

This was an interesting process as I didn’t know if I had to book it myself. However, and congrats to them, they have integrated it. You just pay for the travel insurance.

Saudi Tourist visa medical cost insurance

Only thing I am not sure how it would work if you had to claim but it is great that they have it especially after my previous experience of a hospital abroad.

Step 4: Terms and Conditions

The terms are simple. Not to break the law, drugs and alcohol and others. If you are a genuine tourist you wouldn’t have an issue with compliance.

Saudi Tourist visa T&C resized

Saudi tourist visa T&C2resized

Step 5: Review Your Application

A simple review of your application. Before you proceed.

Step 6: Pay the fees

The total fees for the visa were 535 SAR which is about £118.

Saudi tourist visa break down of fees
this is the fees I paid when I issued mine years ago for example

Once you have completed the steps you will see that your application is under review and wait.

I was not sure how long I had to wait, however, it wasn’t long. Under the FAQ it says from 5minutes to 30minutes.

My Saudi Tourist Visa visa was issued less than 5 minutes later.

Edit: When applying for my husband and daughter, the visa was processed but later I saw I was charged double. I know some other people had this issue.

I didn’t raise it at the time as my credit card said they can cancel the charge but this also might cancel my visa. I decided to wait to go for Umrah and then cancel.

However 3 weeks later and I refund was issued directly by the Tourism for Saudi, so I assume they did an audit and found they had charged people.

Saudi
Saudi Tourist visa MuslimTravelGirl
My Saudi Tourist Visa

I am extremely happy about the new tourist visa because it will make visiting Saudi and actually exploring the country so much easier.

Also, it is great they have allowed people to perform Umrah on the Tourist visa as well so then Muslims don’t have to hide they are doing it.

The process is easy and could be completed in less than 20 minutes.

Applying for minors brought up an interesting fact. I went to apply for my daughter and my husband, when applying for her it picked she is a minor and asked for her guardian. There is no version to have a mother as guardian so I guess this has not changed.

Update: Several people in the comments have asked about this. The support team at Saudi Tourist visa has said that mothers can add themselves as guardians without a problem. So if you are travelling as a woman with a child then you are the guardian in this case. I would also bring a birth certificate just to be on the safe side at the airport especially if you have different surnames. 

guardian

Here is the application part and how it looks.

Umrah Visa VS Tourist Visa

One thing that is interesting I guess is the fact they changed the Umrah visa rules making it harder to go on a DIY Umrah.  Yet they are making the tourist visa cheaper and easier to obtain and also you can go Umrah on it.

This is of course for the lucky countries that generally never had a problem getting an Umrah visa.

With this tourist visa now, however, there is no need to actually issue yourself an Umrah visa which is much more expensive.

The tourist visa costs £93 and the Umrah visa costs £230 and you need to book accommodation and transport, were with the tourist visa this is not required. You can book them independently.

I am not sure why they decided to do this, but looking at the countries there are very few actually Muslim countries who are there so they will still need an Umrah visa to enter Saudi for Umrah.

You can check out my DIY Umrah book: Plan Your Umrah like a Pro & Save Big

FAQs

There are a lot of questions about whether the Saudi tourist visa allows Umrah, even though the FAQ does. Here is the screenshot of the application where you mark it.

Now, I am not saying Saudi tomorrow can change their mind but for now, you can. The restriction is on the non-Muslims visiting Makkah and Medinah which is totally normal and understood.

purpose of visit saudi tourist visa
Non Muslim visiting Makkah

Here is the FAQ on this from the website where it says non-Muslims are not allowed to visit. I guess the biggest draw for a Non-Muslim to go is to visit Makkah.

With regards to how much you can spend in Saudi on the tourist visa, the below is mentioned under their FAQ:

  • The multiple-entry tourist visa is valid for one year from the date of issuance, and the permissible period of stay is 90 days.
  • The single-entry tourist visa is valid for three months from the date of issuance, and the permissible period of stay is 30 days.

 

DIY Umrah E-Book Saving you Thousands

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

The Best Hotels to Book In Makkah for Your Next Umrah

Here is the Best Hilton Hotel In Makkah For Umrah

How to use the Train from Makkah to Medinah

DIY Umrah: How to Get from Jeddah to Makkah and Medinah for Umrah

Share with Friends

Fauzia

Monday 21st of November 2022

Assalamoalaikum! Can I book more than 1 slot for Umrah with the Nusuk app , I am staying in Makkah for 5 days in 2023. So like 2 umrahs InShaAllah in the 5 days. Or is there still a mandatory wait period of 10 days between 2 umrahs? JazakAllah Khair!

Arfa

Thursday 3rd of November 2022

Thank you so very much! I spent many hours trying to understand this information on my own sifting through many open tabs and making notes; and here you made it all so clear and concise. Just what I needed, very grateful to have found your webiste! :)

NL

Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

I am a British National and I am applying for the tourist visa to do Umrah InshAllah - please can I ask that is it necessary to have booked accomodation beforehand since it is asking for commercial residence? What if I don't get the visa then I lose money on hotel and flights?

Muslim Travel Girl

Sunday 6th of November 2022

just put a hotel you are likely to stay in, no need to book

Tanim

Monday 31st of October 2022

Please make sure you’re circulating to people that with the Saudi e-visa they can’t take any zamzam. Lot of people are opting for this and then being denied at Jeddah KAIA

Muslim Travel Girl

Monday 31st of October 2022

Are you sure about this? I believe they can as per the agent at check in

Mubeen Khan

Tuesday 18th of October 2022

Saudia Airlines now allow visa on arrival for those holding permanent UK residence permits (see visa on arrival section). This is good news for those with indefinite leave to remain and no so for people on Spouse Visa's.

"Holders of permanent residence from (US,UK or EU) after ensuring presence of the resident. This includes first-degree relatives of the visa holders coming with them."

https://www.saudia.com/before-flying/travel-information/hajj-and-umrah/tourist-visa

Hamza

Friday 18th of November 2022

@Mubeen Khan, Does this only pertain to Saudia Airlines? What if a permanent resident of US is flying in via Turkish or other airline?