Saudi Arabia Brings 96-Hour Stopover Visa for Indians

Saudi stopover visa

Saudi Arabia has some good news for Indians planning to travel to the middle eastern country for a short period of time. Tawfiq bin Fawzan, the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, made this announcement during a joint press briefing with Smriti Irani, India’s Minister of Minority Affairs, and V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs. This visa policy is Saudi Arabia’s attempt to make a religious pilgrimage to the country easier for Muslims around the globe. But the 96-hour stopover visa, also known as the Saudi transit visa, is not really an Umrah visa, meant just for religious purposes. Here are all the details about this 96-hour Saudi visa.

A. What is the 96-Hour Saudi Arabia Stopover Visa for Indians?

Although it is called a stopover visa or a transit visa, this visa is not just for transiting through Saudi Arabia. An Indian with this visa has the right to enter the country and stay there for 96 hours or 4 days. If you have this visa, you do not need to get a separate Umrah visa to perform Umrah, which was mandatory earlier. The 96-hour stopover visa can also be used for attending business meetings and conferences. It can also be used for tourism purposes. Yes, you can explore the country, visit the numerous tourist attractions, and be a part of the tourist events that the country hosts.

But before you pack your bags and get ready to visit Saudi Arabia, you need to know more about this visa.

B. What is the Eligibility for a 96-Hour Saudi Arabia Stopover Visa?

The 96-hour stopover visa is only available to those Indians who book their flight tickets through Saudi Airlines (Saudia) or Flynas, a low-cost private airline in the country. This visa facility is exclusively available for those flying to Saudi Arabia using these two airlines. If you are planning to use any other airline, you will have to apply for a regular Saudi Arabia visit visa or tourist visa. Indians who have a valid UK, USA, or Schengen visa can skip this, as they are eligible for a Saudi evisa or even a visa on arrival.

Important Details About 96-Hour Saudi Arabia Stopover Visa?

  • The 96-hour Saudi visa is valid for three months. You can apply for this visa 3 months or 90 days before your date of departure to the country.
  • It is a single-entry visa. It cannot be extended. Once you have exited the country, the visa remains cancelled, even if you have not stayed in Saudi for 96 hours. You need to apply for a new one if you want to visit again.
  • This is a free visa. In other words, Indians do not have to pay any visa fee while applying for the 96-hour visa. 

C. How to Apply for a 96-Hour Saudi Arabia Stopover Visa?

As the 96-hour visa is only available to those who book their flight tickets through Saudi Airlines and Flynas, you need to apply for the visa through the airline website. Once you book your flight tickets, you can apply for your visa online as well. The entire application process takes just a few minutes. If your application is approved, you will receive your Saudi stopover visa within 4 hours.

Requirements for 96-Hour Saudi Arabia Stopover Visa?

You do not need to submit a long list of documents to get this visa. Here are some of the requirements for a 96-hour Saudi Arabia stopover or transit visa:

  • A passport with a validity of 6 months (minimum)
  • You will need a passport size photo. The photo should be 200 * 200 pixels, and the size of the file should not be more than 20 KB.
  • Confirmed flight ticket on Saudi Airlines or Flynas, depending on the website you are using to apply for the visa.

Purpose of Saudi Arabia’s Initiative for India

Saudi Arabia announced this initiative to acknowledge the importance of India for tourism in the country. In 2023, almost 1.5 million Indians visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi aims to attract around 7.5 million Indians to the country by 2030. By offering this visa, Saudi’s goal is to strengthen the bond between the two nations and boost travel as well.

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