Saudi Arabia in recent times has become a very alluring destination for Canadian travelers. Whether it is to discover the country’s mind-blowing landscapes or to carry out business activities, Canadians can now benefit from the new development that allows citizens from certain countries to visit Saudi Arabia by getting an eVisa.
This Saudi Arabia electronic visa is a notable part of Vision 2030, an initiative the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, instituted with the sole objective of modernizing the country. For the first time, Canadian travelers have the opportunity to leverage an online visa to visit Saudi Arabia.
Since the procedure takes place on the internet, there is little or no need to visit a Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate. Beginning on September 27th, 2019, the Kingdom also allowed travelers from Canada to request a one-year, multiple-entry eVisa for Saudi Arabia.
This electronic document allows Canadian passport holders to enter the country a number of times during its validity with a maximum of 90 days per stay. Canadians who intend to travel to Saudi Arabia with minors are expected to apply for individual Saudi Arabia eVisas on behalf of their children.
All foreign nationals —irrespective of their age— are mandated to have a legitimate Saudi Arabia Visa to be granted entry into the country. The Saudi Arabia eVisa fee covers processing costs coupled with the necessary health insurance. Canadian travelers who encounter a health emergency during their stay in Saudi Arabia are covered for up to 100.000SAR in healthcare expenses.
Basic Saudi Arabia Visa Requirements for Canadian Citizens
The Saudi Arabia visa requirements for citizens of Canada include:
- Valid passport: You are expected to have a Canadian passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the day of your entry into the kingdom. The passport will also need to have a minimum of two consecutive blank pages.
- Email address: This is very necessary especially since your e-visa will be sent to you, once approved, via email.
- Photograph: You will also have to provide a digital copy of your passport-sized color photograph. The photograph will need a white background and will be expected to have your full face clearly visible in it.
- Means of payment: You will also be expected to make payment for the visa online using a credit or debit card.
How to Apply for a Saudi Visa for Canadian Passport Holders
Obtaining an eVisa for Saudi Arabia from Canada is easy and straightforward. You only need to comply with the following simple steps:
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Visit the Saudi Arabian Visa Website
To begin the process, you will need to visit the official visa website and create an account for yourself. Since there are numerous fake sites, you should be careful to visit only the official website. To create your account, you will be expected to fill in your personal details, such as your full name, phone number, and email address.
You also need to choose your passport type and the country of issuance. Once you are done creating your account, a verification link will be forwarded to your email address. Click this link to activate your account.
Fill out the Application Form
Once your account is activated, you can then begin filling out the visa application form. You must provide accurate information in this form because any slight mistake can delay your application and even have your visa application denied. Fill out the online Saudi Arabia Visa application form with your personal data:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Country of birth
Provide Passport Information
You will also need to fill in your passport information. These details will include:
- Passport country
- Passport number
- Passport date of issue
- Passport expiry date
Fill in Your Contact Details
This is very necessary as your e-visa will be sent to you via email. In addition to using the mail to receive your Saudi Arabia eVisa, you will need one to ensure you get updates and notifications concerning your visa application. You will need to provide:
- An email address
- A mobile phone number
Ensure to carefully verify all the data you have keyed in before submitting your application since any discrepancies or errors can result in a delay in the processing of your Saudi Arabia eVisa.
Upload The Color Photograph
After you must have filled in these details, upload the color photograph. Note that the accepted formats for the photograph are .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif and .bmp. The dimensions should be 200×200 pixels and size between 3 KB and 100 KB.
Pay the VISA Fee
The last step in the visa application process is to pay the visa fee. According to recent reports, the total payable amount is SAR 463.44 and will have to be paid via a debit or credit card. This fee includes 5% VAT, the transaction fee, and the medical insurance fee. Just as it was noted earlier, if you encounter a health emergency during your stay in Saudi Arabia, this health insurance will cover up to SAR 100,000 in healthcare costs.
Get Your Visa
After you’ve submitted your application, note that it takes around 3-5 days for a Saudi Arabia eVisa to be processed. During busy periods, such as Hajj and peak tourist months, the processing could take as much as 7 days. The electronic visa will be forwarded to the email address listed on the application and linked to the applicant’s passport.
Once received, you should print out a copy to carry with you on the day of your trip. This is to serve as proof to border officials who would want to see a physical copy in the unlikely event of problems with the electronic system. The tourist visa then permits the holder entry to Saudi Arabia via any seaport, certain land ports, and airports for 1 year from the date of issue.
Safety and Travel Tips for Canadian Citizens Traveling to Saudi Arabia
Canadian citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia should consider the following important tips;
- Alcohol and pork are not allowed in the kingdom; however, in some residential communities with ex-pats, things can be quite lenient.
- Also, note that photography is a very sensitive topic in Saudi Arabia. Most often, it is best to avoid clicking pictures of government structures, such as ministry buildings, airports, and military facilities.
- Men and women are both expected to dress modestly when in public. Women should keep their shoulders and knees covered at all times.
- Always ensure you carry your personal identification at all times while in Saudi Arabia. It is common to be asked for identification, especially at checkpoints.
- Also, ensure that you do not have any inappropriate text or images on your clothes.