Do US citizens need a transit visa for Saudi Arabia?

If you are a US citizen and your transit in Saudi Arabia is less than 12 hours, you do not need a transit visa. However, if your transit exceeds 12 hours or if you intend to perform Umrah during your layover, it is necessary to apply for a transit visa. This article provides details about Saudi Arabia transit visas. Additionally, US citizens have the option to apply for an eVisa for Saudi Arabia through Visas for Future's services. Initiate your application by clicking the button below.

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No, US citizens do not need a transit visa for Saudi Arabia if they stay within the designated transit area of an international airport like King Fahd International Airport (DMM) or King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) and do not intend to enter the country itself.

Here’s what you need to know about transit in Saudi Arabia for US citizens:

  • In general, you don’t need a visa to transit through Saudi Arabia if:
    • You are staying in the international transit area of the airport.
    • Your layover is less than 12 hours.
    • You have a valid onward ticket.
    • Your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.
  • However, you will need a visa if:
    • You plan to leave the airport transit area, even briefly.
    • Your layover is more than 12 hours.
  • Stopover Options: Some airlines offer “stopover” programs that allow you to stay in Saudi Arabia for longer periods, usually up to 96 hours, with a special visa issued upon arrival. This can be a great option if you want to explore a few sights near the airport during your layover.

Visa fees

  • The fee for a transit visa is SAR 300 (approximately USD 80).
  • The fee for a stopover visa is SAR 530 (approximately USD 140).

Other requirements

  • You may be required to show proof of onward travel and sufficient funds for your stay in Saudi Arabia.
  • You may also be required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is risky.

A Saudi Arabia transit visa allows you to pass through the Kingdom for a limited period without actually entering the country. Think of it as a temporary permission to stay within the designated transit area of an international airport while on your way to another destination.

Extend your stay in Saudi Arabia easily through Visas for Future’s online tourist visa processing service. This visa allows you to step out of the airport and delve into the beauty of Saudi Arabia for an extended period. We offer a straightforward and hassle-free application procedure.

What We’re Offering

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling to Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes, you need a Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa. Our eVisa processing service will give you your Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa and mandatory health insurance in your mailbox within three days.

  • It is 90 days in duration.1
  • It is multiple entries.1
  • It costs $214.82, including the government fee and the mandatory health insurance.

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Types of Saudi Arabia transit visas for US citizens

As a US citizen, your options for transit visas in Saudi Arabia are slightly different than other nationalities due to the visa-free entry privileges you enjoy.

No Transit Visa Required

  • Short layovers: If your layover in a designated transit area of a Saudi Arabian airport is 12 hours or less, you don’t need a transit visa

Optional Transit Visa Options

  • Standard Transit Visa: You can still choose to obtain a standard transit visa if your layover exceeds 12 hours but remains within 72 hours. This offers more flexibility within the transit area compared to the visa-free option, though it’s not required unless you plan to leave the airport.
  • Stopover Visa (96-hour): Some airlines offer stopover programs in conjunction with a 96-hour transit visa. This opens up the possibility of venturing outside the airport and exploring nearby attractions during your extended layover. However, remember this requires coordination with the airline and might involve additional fees compared to the standard transit visa.

Purposes of Saudi Arabia transit visa

There are two main purposes for obtaining a Saudi Arabia transit visa:

1. Connecting Flights

  • This is the most common reason for needing a transit visa. If your travel itinerary involves a layover in a Saudi Arabian airport exceeding 12 hours, you will need a transit visa to remain within the designated transit area until your next flight.
  • This allows you to rest, catch up on work, or even grab a meal without officially entering the country.

2. Stopover and Sightseeing

  • Some airlines offer stopover programs in conjunction with transit visas, allowing you to extend your layover for up to 96 hours and explore nearby attractions within Saudi Arabia.
  • This can be a great opportunity to break up a long journey and experience a bit of the country’s culture and sights.
  • Stopover visas typically require specific arrangements with the airline and might have additional fees compared to standard transit visas.

Additional Considerations

  • Nationals of countries exempt from visa requirements for Saudi Arabia like US citizens don’t need a transit visa for layovers under 12 hours.
  • If you plan to leave the airport transit area and enter the city, regardless of your layover duration, you will require a separate tourist visa, not a transit visa.
  • Always check the latest visa regulations and specific options available at your transit airport to determine the best approach for your situation.

Saudi Arabia Visa regulations

Saudi Arabia visa regulations are the rules and requirements that govern the entry and exit of foreign nationals to the kingdom. Depending on the purpose and duration of the visit, visitors may need to obtain a visa in advance, online, or on arrival. Some of the factors that affect the visa regulations are:

  • The nationality of the visitor.
  • The type of passport or travel document.
  • The validity and number of entries of the visa.
  • The proof of purpose of visit.
  • The health insurance and COVID-19 precautions.

There are different types of visas for Saudi Arabia, such as tourist visas, business visas, personal visit visas, family visit visas, etc. Each visa has different eligibility criteria, fees, and conditions.

Requirements for transit purposes in Saudi Arabia for US citizens

If your layover exceeds 12 hours, and you decide to obtain a standard transit visa for extra flexibility within the transit area, here are the document requirements:

Essential Documents

  • Valid Passport: Must have at least six months of remaining validity beyond your travel dates.
  • Travel Documents:
    • Confirmed onward flight tickets showing your departure from Saudi Arabia within the visa’s validity period.
    • Proof of your final destination travel arrangements.
  • Completed visa application form: You can access and submit the form electronically through the official eVisa platform.
  • Travel insurance: Mandatory travel insurance covers medical expenses and repatriation costs throughout your stay in Saudi Arabia. You can usually purchase this during the online application process.
  • Passport-sized photograph: A recent digital photograph with specific size and background requirements mentioned on the eVisa platform.

Additional Documents (may be required in some cases)

  • Proof of sufficient funds for your transit stay in Saudi Arabia (bank statements, credit card statements).
  • Vaccination records (depending on travel history and current health requirements).
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if traveling from or through a yellow fever risk zone).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can US citizens get visas on arrival in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, US citizens can obtain visas on arrival in Saudi Arabia at a designated entry point.

What are the requirements for US citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia?

If you want to travel to Saudi Arabia with a tourist visa, here are the required documents:2

1. A passport with at least six months of validity.
2. Passport-size photo.
3. Details of accommodation in Saudi Arabia.
4. Flight itinerary.
5. Health Insurance (to be purchased while ordering the eVisa).
6. Financial proof.

Is a transit visa required to connect flights?

No, a transit visa is generally not required for US citizens on connecting flights in Saudi Arabia if your layover is 12 hours or less and you stay within the designated transit area of the airport.

  1. Saudi eVisa | The Official website for Tourist Visa to Saudi Arabia. (2023). Visa.visitsaudi.com; Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia . https://visa.visitsaudi.com/ [] []
  2. Tourist Visa | The Embassy of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (2023). Www.saudiembassy.net. https://www.saudiembassy.net/tourist-visa []

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James Abel Diego
Written by

James Abel Diego is a content writer at Visas for Future who is an expert in travel and visa policies for Turkey, India, Colombia and Egypt. He is an Education graduate who is inclined with passion in writing informative content. He has been in several training sessions making him more of value in content and fulfilling customer orders efficiently. James maintains his understanding of visa processing by executing real visa orders once per quarter.

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Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

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MLA Style

Diego, James Abel. "Do US citizens need a transit visa for Saudi Arabia?." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/do-us-citizens-need-a-transit-visa-for-saudi-arabia/. Accessed on 21 August 2023.

Chicago Style

Diego, James Abel. "Do US citizens need a transit visa for Saudi Arabia?." Visas For Future. August 21, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/do-us-citizens-need-a-transit-visa-for-saudi-arabia/.

Published: 21 Aug 2023 16:17 UTC

Last modified: 23 Mar 2024 20:27 UTC

Reading time: 7 minutes

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