Most Americans who travel to Saudi Arabia go there for business or religious reasons-the Saudi government doesn’t issue many tourist visas, and the ones it does issue are only granted to organized tour groups following an approved itinerary.
Is there a business trip to Saudi Arabia in your future? Don’t forget to apply for your Saudi Arabia visa well in advance! The US Department of State’s website notes that they can take months to issue, and you need to have one ahead of time to enter the country.
Here’s what you need to get a Saudi Arabia business visa:
- A valid US passport
- 1 passport photo
- An invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the company you are doing business with should be able to help)
- A letter from your company, explaining who you are, what you will be doing in Saudi Arabia and how long you plan to stay there.
Saudi Arabia business visas are valid for 60 days, but generally you can only stay for 30. Don’t overstay your visa-you’ll get smacked down with a hefty fine when you try to leave.
Also, one thing you should know before you apply for a Saudi Arabia business visa on your own is that the process can take a long time and the forms aren’t user-friendly.
Check out this excellent post from Chris Guillebeau on the Art of Noncomformity for a description of the difficulties and delays that cropped up when he tried to get a Saudi transit visa. He ended up not getting it in time for his trip, going anyway, and having to talk his way past several immigration officials who wanted to deport him immediately. Not an auspicious beginning to a trip to a foreign country!
Fortunately, a private visa expediting service like RushMyTravelVisa.com can make the process of applying for a Saudi business visa much easier. RushMyTravelVisa can help you with the paperwork, make sure you have all the necessary documents, and keep you from making common mistakes that could delay your visa and ruin your trip.