How to Obtain a Saudi Arabian Transit Visa

11/2013 UPDATE: Numerous reports suggest that Saudi Arabia has suspended the issue of transit visas in the United States. Contact your nearest Saudi consulate or the Saudi Embassy in Washington if you are in need of one. Case-by-case exceptions may still be made, particuarly if you work with a reputable company like Travisa to help obtain your visa.

saudi-embassy-washington-sign When I forced in a 23-hour layover in Jeddah on my recent Saudia trip, I was taking a conscious risk. The consensus across the internet was that Saudi Arabian transit visas are routinely denied and nearly impossible to procure. If my visa request was denied, my trip would be over. Saudi Arabia allows transits of up to 12 hours without a visa (and you generally cannot leave the airport), but beyond that a visa is a must. Unlike many carriers, Saudia makes clear that there are no refunds on a restricted ticket if a visa is denied. With no visa, I would have been denied boarding, losing my $557 trip and more importantly, my chance to try out the Park Hyatt Jeddah and visit Afghanistan.

But I wasn't worried. And for that I credit Alex Brewer, BrewerSEA on Flyertalk, who was able to procure a Saudi Arabian transit visa for his trip through the Kingdom in 2011. His success story gave me hope and the day after booking my ticket, I went to work on obtaining the visa.

Visa outsourcing companies like Travisa will help you get the visa for a $65 fee, but I had a trip to Washington coming up and decided to do everything myself.

Step One: Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs Enjaz Online Registration Form 


Oh what a pain this was. The first step in the visa process is submitting an online application and photo. The Saudi government uses a company named Enjaz to handle this and the website is not utter the understatement of the century. The form is not all that detailed, but there is this one little thing that makes it difficult: the website was designed for Windows 95...

You must submit a picture of yourself, but the file size must be between 3-18K. No, that is not a typo. "Huge" 20K files will be rejected. I used Adobe Photoshop to resize my passport photo to the requisite size and tired to upload it--not that my face was legible anymore. But the site still would not accept it.

If you use a Chrome web browser, you cannot complete the online visa application. If you use Safari, you cannot complete the online visa application. If you use Firefox, you cannot complete the online visa application. Only Internet Explorer works...who uses that anymore? 

I surely do not and had to find an old computer with which to complete the application. Not only did I have to pull a dusty Dell out of the garage, I had to retool IE's security settings. Thanks to Travisa for the following help:

  •  A Windows computer using Internet Explorer as the browser is required.
  • Change settings to enable "Download unsigned ActiveX controls".  To do this, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Security ->Custom level. Scroll to the listing for “Download unsigned ActiveX controls” and select the option “Enable
  • Once that is enabled, the applicant should click on the yellow bar to allow the control to install. ((Once you have changed the setting to enabled, click on "OK" or "continue" (depending on your set up) to install your changes.)
  • It may be necessary to restart your Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect.
  • Once the control is installed, Click the“Import Person Picture” button.
    • If no window appears then the ActiveX control is not installed, so repeat the steps above and restart your Internet Explorer.
    • If you receive an error message, than your scanned photo is most likely not saved to the correct size.
  • Please note: after you select your photo, even if the photo does not appear in the photo box, you should be able to continue to the next step as long as you do not receive an error message.
  • Once your photo is loaded, click continue.

That did the trick. From there, it was easy--I successfully uploaded the picture, filled out the application, and entered my credit card details for the $10.50 processing fee. Payment was accepted and an application number was generated. That application number is necessary in order to complete step two.


Moments later I recieved a call from the Chase fraud department, wondering if I had authorized a payment inside Saudi Arabia. I said yes. The first step was done.

Step Two: Fill out and print a visa application form

You'll acknowledge such things as I am aware that all alcoholic beverages, narcotics and other illegal drugs, pornographic materials or publications that violate the social norms of decency and all other publications that are disrespectful of any religious belief or political orientation are prohibited and shall not be brought into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I am also fully aware that the crime of smuggling narcotics and other illegal drugs into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is punishable by the death penalty before completing the short application form.

Importantly, you'll need to include your Enjaz application number on the application and staple a color passport photo. Also remember "ladies cannot apply for a transit visa if not accompanied by a male relative."

Step Three: Mail or Visit Your Local Consulate or the Saudi Embassy in Washington

In addition the the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC consulates are located in New York, Houston, and Los Angeles. 

Washington, DC
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 342-3800

New York
866 Second Ave., 5th Floor

New York, NY 10017
(212) 752-2740

5718 Westheimer, Suite 1500

Houston, TX 77057
(713) 785-5577

Los Angeles
2045 Sawtelle Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 479-6000



images from Google Maps/Street View

I was going to be in Washington anyway, so I stopped by the Embassy on New Hampshire Avenue NW, located across the street from the Watergate complex. Visa drop-off hours are weekdays from 9:30a-12:30p and pick-up is from 3:30p-4:30. Visas generally take a week process, unless you are Canadian (due to a diplomatic row, visas for Canadians can take 2-3 weeks for approval).

I entered the building and went through a metal detector, where I encountered a large marble lobby with incense burning and large pictures of the royal family on the wall. I checked in at the desk and left my baggage (I was traveling) in the corner of the lobby. To the right was the visa office and I proceed right to the window, where there was no line.

"Why do you need to go through Saudi Arabia?" was the first question asked by the man at the desk, with a skeptical look in his eye and tone his voice. Oh boy, I much for the visa. I responded that airfare was dramatically cheaper flying via Jeddah on Saudi Arabian Airlines and presented him with my visa application, a confirmation of my Enjaz registration form, a copy of my air itinerary, and a copy of my hotel reservation.

He simply nodded his head and stapled a perforated salmon-colored receipt to the back of my passport, tearing off half of it to give to me and instructing me to come back next week. I nodded in agreement and left. Not that it probably mattered, but I was dressed neatly--khaki pants and a collared shirt.

Step Three: Pick-up Visa

I had dropped off my visa on Friday afternoon so I did not expect it to be done Monday afternoon. Still, I was on my way back to Philadelphia and in the District again, so I stopped by at 3:30p to see if my visa was ready.

Before stopping at the Embassy, I visited the post office to pick up a Priority Mail envelope and stamp--if I could not get the passport (and hopefully the visa) today, it would have to be mailed to me.

Through security and to the visa office again, I found the same man at the desk as Friday. He remembered me and said to come back tomorrow, that the visa was not ready yet. I told him I was leaving town but handed him the stamped, self-addressed envelope to mail the passport. He told me to hold on a for a moment and came back about five minutes later with my passport, opening it to show that not only had I been granted a visa, I had been granted a double-entry visa in case I wished to go into Jeddah again during my 8-hr return layover!

I was ecstatic and a huge grin spread across my face. He smiled back as I thanked him for his assistance.

Visa was now in a cost of $0.


Read more of my Saudi Arabia + Afghanistan Trip Report--

Introduction: A Journey to Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan
How to Obtain a Saudi Arabian Transit Visa
New York JFK to Jeddah in Saudia Economy Class
Review: Park Hyatt Jeddah
Pictures from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah to Dubai in Saudia Economy Class
Dubai to Kabul on Ariana Afghan Airlines
Arrival in Afghanistan
The Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan
My Hotel, er Compound, in Kabul, Afghanistan
Kabul – TV Tower Hill and Darul Aman Palace
Kabul – National Museum of Afghanistan
Kabul – Gardens of Babur and Kart-e Sakhi Mosque
Kabul – The Green Zone and British Cemetery
Kabul International Airport and Departing Afghanistan
The Afghanistan Dilemma
Kabul to Dubai on flydubai
Dubai to New York via Jeddah in Saudia Economy Class 


Sunny M March 24, 2013 at 02:45 am

Boy that seems like alot of hassle for a transit visa, if a person is not gonna be near one of there offices would you just recommend paying a service to secure the visa?

Absolutely. I think even for those who live in Houston/Washington/New York/LA it makes sense to go through Travisa. I just wanted to see how hard it was to actually do it myself and I am a bit odd...I like this sort of thing.

ptahcha March 24, 2013 at 06:59 pm

It's typically not intimidating to procure a visa, if you follow the instructions and having all the documentations available. It's also easier if you live in a city near the embassy/consulate. Based on my experience, believe it or not, the most difficult was France (I wasn't an US citizen back then and needed a Schengen visa). UK was the easiest, where you drop off in the morning and pick up the visa in the afternoon. The staff at the consulate remarked how cheap my airfare was ($9 from LHR to AMS, exclusive of taxes).

sri March 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

actually france is also not that bad atleast in boston,difficult one will be us visitor visa from india.

john March 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Does that say you can stay up to three days? twice?! I thought those were hard to get and they would only give you a 24 hour visa.... interesting....

@john: Amazingly, three days in each direction!

Phil March 30, 2013 at 04:16 pm

Thanks. I love the detail!

Earlier this year, I whiffed on my attempt to leave the Jeddah Airport while in transit (under 18hrs).

I've found another opportunity in November though. I have a 47 hour Saudia layover en route from Istanbul to Sana'a. This time, I'm doing it right.

The flight was similar in price to Turkish, but all of the Turkish flights arrive at 3am. And I can get SkyTeam miles on Saudia.

I'll probably use TraVisa.

Booked a Delta award today for wife and I on Saudi Arabian Airlines, tomorrow heading to the NYC consulate to try for transit visas, thanks for the tips, I had to reduce IE's security even beyond the low level needed to access my Chinese bank accounts.

Joey April 19, 2013 at 05:22 pm

I read Rapid Travel Chai's blog which lead me to this post. Awesome post! Your photo on the visa looks pretty good for being 18kb. Wow! I'd think the photo would be unrecognizable. I had a friend working in KSA back in 2010 and I tried to visit him by applying for this visa but could never reduce my photo to less than 18kb (if i did, it's a very poor quality where I couldn't even recognize myself.) Did you use adobe acrobat entirely?

@Joey--I submitted a hard copy of the photo with the visa application and assumed they must have used that.

I did use Photoshop to reduce the photo.

Kashif June 7, 2013 at 01:13 pm

@Matthew could i please ask, what did you write in Sponser fields of the visa application form?

@Kashif: I just left it blank (on the Enjaz application, I just typed "n/a")

Kashif June 14, 2013 at 08:30 am

thanks so much Matthew, I really appreciate your response ... I am applying this week :)

Let us know how it turns out! Good luck.

Clive June 20, 2013 at 03:26 pm

Hey Matthew,

Would this work for an American citizen on a tourist visa abroad? I am currently in Egypt. Would I have to send my passport back to US or could I just go to consulate here in Alexandria?


@Clive: That should work just fine--I bet Alexandria will be even easier and I strongly doubt they will make you send your passport to the States.

Momo034 July 11, 2013 at 01:46 pm

No longer. I booked a flight with a 2 day stopover with the intention of getting a transit visa. Called the embassy to ask random question about it and was unpleasantly surprised to have them tell me they no longer issue transit visas. I assured her that on the consulate website it says they do issue transit visas (because it DID have a whole page explaining how transit visas are issued), she said the no longer do them...I jumped online and sure enough in the 2 weeks that had passed since i last was on thier site they had removed the transit visa section. Now stuck with a flight i cant use. Bummer. Forewarned.

@Momo034: That's interesting. I note as well that the transit visa section has been removed. I wonder if it temporary or just during Ramadan? Perhaps they will introduce fees for it? I just cannot imagine a country wholly getting rid of transit visas.

shawn July 16, 2013 at 07:59 am


Went to the Saudi embassy a couple of days ago and was told the embassy doesn't issue transit visa anymore. I am going to be stuck in Riyadh at the airport for 19 hrs! So plan accordingly if you are going with Saudi airlines.

That is bad news...


Sonia July 24, 2013 at 07:08 am

Lovely bit of detail there. Saudi do not do transit visas anymore? Is that the same world over? Me Nd hubby were planning to go to Dubai by road from Bahrain end of the month. I know I can get Visa on arrival in Dubai, but how do I pass through Saudi? Any ideas?

No idea if Saudi Arabia has really ended the transit visa issuance. But I still find it hard to accept that they would permanently just end transit visas.

Rajeev August 22, 2013 at 04:16 pm


I plan to visit Egypt next year (when the situation cools down), and I'd like to fly from Jordan directly to Sohag so that I can get right into the Temples of Abydos. It seems like a couple of the Saudi Airlines are good for this, though I'd have to pass through Riyadh or Jeddah to get there.

For how long do they issue transit visas, and what kinds of restrictions do they have? Is there any way to get a good 2-3 days? And can I leave the city I fly through? I'd really just love to either go diving near Yanbu or visit Madain Saleh. Do you think that they would tolerate this, especially if I wanted to take another internal flight to get to and from those places in the country?

Jordan September 9, 2013 at 01:53 pm

Interesting if they have stopped issuing transit visas.. I was able to get mine in May with a little begging. My flights weren't on Saudia but required overnight stays both directions in Jeddah. At the time they did charge for the transit visas ($16) via the Enjaz app vs them being free.

Mezza October 4, 2013 at 08:35 am

Does anyone know whether the option of a transit visa does still exist or not?

Anand S Kanade October 28, 2013 at 08:47 am

Sir, I along with my wife and daughter are from Pune India We are going to U.S.A.leaving India on 29th December 2013 reaching U.S.A.on 1st January 2014.We have booked air tickets from Saudi Arabian Airlines and on our way to U.S.A. We are required to halt at Jeddah for nearly 15 to 18 hours.We wish to avail this time in having a trip in and around Jeddah for which we require 18 hours Visa from Saudi Arabian Authorities.Will you please help us and guide us to get this Visa and trip around Jeddah? Similarly while returning back to India from U.S.A.we are required to halt at RIYADH for nearly 10 to 13 hours.Our probable date of return Journey is 28th/29th June 2014 where also we will require 18 hours visa from Saudi Arabian Authorities.Please guide us Thanking You. Anand Kanade.Pune

Hi Anad,

I would contact the Saudi embassy in Delhi to handle this or an authorized service agent in Pune. The requirements are rather straightforward here:

(you can click through on >>Visa and Consular Services and there is a transit visa section, listing the following requriements:

Transit Visa

  1. Fill up the application Form & attach two photographs with White background.
  2. Valid Passport.
  3. Confirmed Air ticket from India to the Kingdom and the other country.

Here is the application:

Kyle November 4, 2013 at 02:20 pm

I just went to the Embassy in Washington D.C. today hoping to get a transit visa for my layover in Jeddah, no luck. They said they do not offer transit visas.

@Kyle: Sorry to hear. How long is your layover?

Kyle November 4, 2013 at 03:17 pm

I have a 17 hour 50 minute layover, so I'm fine in terms of getting on my next flight. Sadly I'm condemned to spend that time within the confines of the airport. They will be issuing Umrah visas starting January 2014 but that's for Muslims only.

Kyle, don't give up. Have you written a detailed letter to the Saudi mission stating why you need a transit visa?

I think it really helped (because the guy looked like he was going to tell me no transit visas) that I had the itinerary and a hotel reservation already booked, that I looked presentable, and that I had a fat passport.

Jay November 6, 2013 at 05:31 am

I have the same scenario. I will be going to new york through saudi airline. I have a problem with my returning flight as I will be waiting for almost 18 hours and 35 minutes. Im leaving from dubai but upon speaking to the Saudi embassy to the UAE, they do not issue any transit visa so they recommend of visiting the new york office saudi. I wonder if I could get a transit visa in NY?

Your response will be appreciated.

Many thank,

Jay, you need to try to talk to someone higher up. My understanding (of life in general) its that exceptions can always be made--you just have to keep trying.

Jay November 6, 2013 at 09:58 pm

Hi Sir Mathew,

Whom should I contact with? I've been trying to contact Saudi Embassy New York but got no response...

Thank you Sir

Hi Jay,

I think this post may be helpful to you--

Ask for Dr. Saud M. A. Kh. Shawwaf, who is the Vice Consul

Check this link for a list of all the staff--

I would write a succinct letter and hopefully they can work something out for you.

Good luck, Matthew

Jay November 7, 2013 at 03:31 am

Thank you Sir Mathew.

I just wonder if they provide transit visa for non-us citizen?

Going To Saudi Arab November 7, 2013 at 05:03 pm

I am also going thru Riyadh airport on Dec 6. A friend told me that he called the Embassy and they said they do not issue transit visas anymore. I have decided to just mail the application. I will update with result.

Syed November 9, 2013 at 07:37 pm

Dear Mathew,

You are kindly requested to let me know that is it possible to go out from Riyadh Airport on a less than 10 hours transit.

Someone wrote that at immigration counter they took the passport and allowed to go out without holding the transit visa. I am travelling with my wife from Lahore - Riyadh - New York. I have Pakistani passport. Best regards

Mohammad November 19, 2013 at 05:41 pm

How to get sponsorship. I just want to go there for umrah and I do not have any sponsorship. Also What is Arabic Family Name etc., I am not an arabic.

Mohammad, if you are going for Umrah you need a special Umrah visa which you can get from your nearest consulate or embassy. If a box or line does not apply, leave it blank or write n/a. If you are referring to the ENJAZ app above, the upper field is simply for writing in Arabic and the lower field in English.

abubakr November 25, 2013 at 06:05 pm

Dear Matthew,

I want to apply for a transit visa from London. I have already booked the tickets with saudi arabian airlines and have an 11 hour layover and 20 hour layover on the way back. I have booked hotel reservations. I hope they give it to me

I hope so too.

Madeeha December 4, 2013 at 05:20 pm

Hello Mathiew,

I have a quick question: my stopover in Jeddah is 14 hours. Do I still need transit visa? Can I find a hotel inside the airport to stay overnight ?

Thank you for your help!Greetings

Hello Madeeha,

Since your stay is under 18 hours, you will not require a transit visa. Immigration authorities may or may not allow you to exit the airport. If you do not exit the airport, there is no on-site hotel and the chairs are very uncomfortable for sleeping. I would bring a blanket and pillow of your own.


Takhliq Khan December 9, 2013 at 01:33 pm

I had sent in my applications with all the supporting documents and passport via priority mail to them last week via priority mail. I received a package back from the embassy today with everything returned and a note saying " we do not issue transit visas at this time". I am so mad. My layover in Jeddah is about 22 hours. I don't know what my options are. From what i have read here, the airline will not let me board if my layover is over 18 hours and i don't have transit visa.

That is very unfortunate to hear.

Perhaps it has something to do with the MERS-CoV virus problem in Saudi Arabia, but you are truly in a tough spot. What is your precise routing?

Takhliq Khan December 10, 2013 at 09:11 am

Hi Mathew, I am (or i was supposed to) fly from Washington DC to Jeddah on December 15. That flight gets there on Dec 16 around 2pm. My connecting flight to Lahore (Pakistan) does not leave until 12pm on Dec 17 which makes the layover about 22 hours. I do not have much time left so i need to make a decision today. Someone i knew was going to talk to someone at the embassy but it is snowing here today so embassy is closed.

I would go to the embassy in person if you have to to plead your case.

adam December 13, 2013 at 09:28 am

I have exactly an 18 hour layover. If my flight is delayed am I screwed? I'm hoping to get a transit visa from sri Lanka SA embassy.

Adam, you are fine, even with a delay.

Hasan December 18, 2013 at 04:32 pm

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for your post and for answering everyone's questions! I have another query you might be able to help with: I am flying to Abu Dhabi from JFK through Riyadh--where I have a 23 hour layover. I'm considering just toughing it out in the airport during that time as opposed to going through the hassle (and cost) of acquiring a visa and hotel room for the night. Do you think it would be feasible to stay in the airport for 18+ hours without a visa? Also, what do you think the repercussions would be for landing in SA without a visa in hand?

Best, Hasan

Hi Hasan,

The rules say that if the stay is longer than 18 hours, a visa is required even if you do not leave the airport. I would play it safe and get one. Even if you get past check-in without the visa check, your passport is examined upon arrival in RUH or JED at the transfer desk.


Adam January 3, 2014 at 05:01 am

Do you have to fillout the Enjaz form to get a transit visa at any consulate or is it only for the consulates in the US? I am going to get one in sri lanka but i would rather not pay the 10 dollar fee and fillout all of the information online if its not necessary. i tried contacting them to ask but they won't pickup their phone Thanks!

Adam January 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Just to report, it is very easy to get a transit visa in Colombo sri lanka. you have to pay about $25 to an enjaz agent near the embassy but you can do it in 1 or 2 days

sagar kamble January 24, 2014 at 05:12 am


Alan Mitchell March 14, 2014 at 12:30 am

Hi Matthew,

Do you know of anyone who booked a full 72 hr stopover with Saudia and were able to get a transit visa? I ask because most people simply book one flight with an 8-23 hour or so stopover in JED or RUH. I have not read any TRs of anyone booking 2 separate fares to allow themselves a full 3 day stopover though. Will the embassy see the intentionally-created long stopover and deny visa? Who knows. But I was wondering your thoughts on it or if you've heard anything. I know it's possible overland, but unsure about via air.


@Alan: I do not. It seems the Saudi missions in the USA have really tightened up on transit visas--not sure why.

I do think a 72hr transit would raise many concerns. Perhaps you could change your flights once your visa is granted? I think all transit visas are given 3 days, since my flight itinerary specifically said 23 hours...

James March 17, 2014 at 01:33 pm

I am a British Citizen and have just returned from my visit to Riyadh.

I visited the embassy here in London and after a period of questioning and querying the paperwork I provided (covering letter, flight details, proof of employment and hotel reservation), they granted me a 72 hour transit visa at a cost of £54. The visa was ready the same day.

My flights were with Saudia, flying London -> Riyadh -> Amman.

If anyone has any questions or queries about how I managed to get a visa please feel free to contact me.

Naz March 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Hi Guys It seems like i am also on the same boat as everyone else. Bought a ticket directly on Saudi airlines website from Toronto to Dhaka with a 17 hours 40 mins transit in Riyadh. Contacted Saudi Embassy for a transit visa and got a reply stating,

"Please note that we do not offer transit visas. Please note that you need to stay at the international transit area for no longer than 12 hours. If ur layover is over 12 hours, you need to change your flight details. thank you

Best Regards Visa department Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Ottawa, Canada"

Seeking some advice how to get a visa to get out of airport and get a hotel.


How close are you to a consulate or embassy? I would go in and plead your case in person.

mrs.imran April 11, 2014 at 08:06 am

hello i want to know the price of visit visa in pakistan rupees.i leave in lahore city of pakistan.please help me.

Mrs.Imran, there is no Saudi consulate in Lahore. Please contact the Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulate in Karachi for assistance with a transit visa:


Saudi Arabian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan

14 North Service Road Diplomatic Enclave G-4 Islamabad Pakistan Telephone (+92) 51 260 0900 / 1 Telefax (+92) 51 227 8816 E-mail [email protected] Office Hours 09.00-16.00 Head of Mission Mr Abdulaziz Al-Ghadeer, Ambassador


Saudi Arabian Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan

20 - 22 Khayaban - Keep Vis No. 5 Hosank Latortue Karachi Pakistan Telephone (+92) 21 3584 6320 (+92) 21 3584 1154 Telefax (+92) 21 3584 1755 E-mail [email protected] Head of Mission Mr Faleh Al-Rehaili, Consul

Mohiuddin June 30, 2014 at 08:48 am

Assalamualikum. I tried lot but not getting online visa form what I can do ?

NK June 30, 2014 at 02:38 pm

Do you know what are the facilities we have on the Riyadh airport during transit period? Like food, shower, internet access and shopping?

@Mohiuddin: What country do you reside in?

@NK: No public shower facilities to my knowledge, there is food, limited duty free, several prayer areas, a Saudia Lounge, and non-functioning wifi.

Azeem July 13, 2014 at 04:01 am

Dear Mathew, Can you confirm that do i need to apply separately for my family to go along with me by road through saudia to bahrain from kuwait on transit visa. As i already planned but now got condused that they will allow my family to accompany me on my trip to Bahrain.

Dear Azeem, Your local Saudi consulate or embassy will have the best answer, but my understanding is that each member of your traveling party must have a visa in their own passport.

It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd without a doubt donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Netra July 23, 2014 at 10:22 am

Hi Matthew, this is an excellent article. Very helpful. I have a question though. Sorry if it is already answered. Me and my husband are travelling this December'14 via Saudi Arabia with Saudi Airlines. I heard that Airline can arrange for transit visa. We have layover of 18 hours ,so we want to visit nearby city and roam around a little bit. Also, do we have to fill two separate forms to apply for visa, if we are travelling together? Looking forward to your reply. Thanks in advance.

@Netra: Saudia Airlines will not help with your transit visa - you will have to get it yourself. In your home country, apply at the nearest consulate and embassy. In the USA, it seems the Kingdom has halted the issuance of transit visas (especially in light of MERS) but my understanding is that in other nations it is still possible to obtain a transit visa, especially countries in the region.

Rayan September 16, 2014 at 04:08 am

Mr Matthew i have one question,what did u fill in enjaz form where it asked about sponsor? thanx

@Rayan: Since I was transiting, I left it blank.

Darlene October 1, 2014 at 09:01 pm

Hi Matt, I know this has been answered but I just want to get a verification again. My friends have layover in Jeddah (flying Saudia Airlines) for 5 hrs. They are coming from Italy with a Philippine passport. I understand they don't need to get a visa, right? Nope, they dont have plans of going out of the airport. They are flying from Rome to Jeddah (with 5hrs 25min layover), then Jeddah to Manila. Thank you!

Hi Darlene,

No visa will be needed.

Basanth Sadasivan October 4, 2014 at 02:27 pm

Hi Matt, Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!

When filling out the Enjaz form, how exactly do you find the Sponsor's ID Number? Also, if I have a 36 hour transit in Saudi Arabia, am I eligible to apply for a transit visa?

Hi Basanth, I just put in three dashes for that section --- since it does not apply for transit visa.

You are eligible to apply for one, though it is still difficult to set this up through the embassy or one of the consulates in the USA.

Basanth Sadasivan October 4, 2014 at 09:24 pm

Hi Matt, Thanks for the quick reply!

I am a citizen of Singapore who lives in the US and plan on doing this through the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Singapore. Do you think that will be a better idea or should I get the transit visa through Travisa in the US?


Basanth Sadasivan October 4, 2014 at 09:30 pm

Also, when I put in 3 dashes under the Sponsor ID section, it says "Numbers only" under the error message. Any way of getting around this?

I would just put in three zeros then.

Yeasin October 24, 2014 at 05:46 pm

Hi Mathew, I have 13 hour long layover in Riyadh and planning to get a Saudi Arabia Transit Visa. Do you have any information about the Saudi embassy would give any transit visa or not? My date of travel is 5th Jan 2015. Thanks

Yeasin October 24, 2014 at 06:04 pm

I have another Question. What would be the Saudi Mission in .........? FYI: I will be mailing my passport to Washington DC from South Carolina. I could not find Washington rather I found "Washongton". What should I do? Thanks

@Yeasin, I doubt the Saudis will give you a transit visa - you will likely be stuck in RUH for the duration of your layover. Washongton is just a spelling error ... they mean Washington, DC.

yoosuf October 25, 2014 at 04:54 am

Hi Matthew, I need your help. I have applied for transit visa through Enjas and successfully completed and made payment using credit card. I for got to write down the application number. I thought , I can take printout of application. But when I press the print out icon, the application screen gone and got first screen and asking to enter application number and passport number in order to track my application status.

Can you please help me to find out my application number ? I searched saudi websites and could not find any solution for this.

Hi Yoosuf,

That's a tough one...the only thing I can recommend is contacting Enjaz through this page:

Good luck!

Toomas October 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

Hi! Is it possible at all to applay visa for land-transit? In december 2014 I want to drive from Dubai to Jeddah and from there to Sudan by ferry. I already have Sudan visa. I found from net, what there is possible to get 7-days transit visa, but i could not find anybody who actually got it.. Good advice is welcome Thanks!

Anish November 5, 2014 at 04:05 am

Hi Mathew

I am flying to India from Johannesburg via Jeddah. I have a 5hrs layover. Do you think, I might need a transit Visa?

Hi Anish, you will not need a transit visa unless you wish to leave the airport. You can connect up to 18 hours with no transit visa necessary.

Ishaque Moodadi November 6, 2014 at 04:08 pm

Hello Matthew,

We tried to get transit following the way you suggested and the consulate in LA declined stating that they do not provide the transit visa.

The embassy officer was not sure of how to obtain the transit visa either..

He first told me to contact airline, we contacted airline and airline asked to talk with embassy..

when we passed this information to emabssy officer, he asked us to provide proof of work statement + some other documents..

Finaly he asked how long you are having transit, we said 12-15 hours. He declined stating that he cannot provide transit for that short time period.

I asked what is the minimum time required to provide the transit visa.. He said, they dont have any policy like that.. However they evaluate case by case..

Any ways.. utter waste of time.. and not happy with embassy office and also embarassed with lack of policy on these items...

Hope this will help others.

Regards, Ishaque Moodadi

Basanth Sadasivan November 6, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Hi Matt!

I will be transitting in Saudi Arabia from 27th-28th July 2015 for a total of 36 hours. Do you have any idea when is the EARLIEST that i can apply for and obtain the Transit Visa for Saudi Arabia? Thanks!

jonaathan December 2, 2014 at 01:57 am

hi matthew.. do the 18hrs without transit visa is also applicable to all nationalities including asian.. because i'm planning to transit this coming dec with 8hrs waiting time going to manila.. is it possible that i can board the aircraft w/o transit visa. btw i will came frm doha to dammam then dammam to manila and no check-in baggage. Thanks in advance and god bless.

@jonaathan - what country do you hold a passport from?

jonaathan December 3, 2014 at 01:41 am

hi matthew.. im holding a philippine passport... i already bought a confirmed ticket frm cebu pacific air going to manila ds coming dec19 and the departure time is 4am... my arrival to dammam from doha is at 9pm.. thanks for your fast reply.. can i also ask if theres a visa upon arrival for my profession as an aircraft maintenance.

jonaathan December 3, 2014 at 09:21 am

hi matt.. thanks for the reply... im holding a philippine passport.. im so afraid that i will be stuck in dammam so i keep asking you again if i dont need a transit visa (no plan to leave the airport)... im currently working here in doha.. i will be arriving in dammam via qatar airways at 9pm dec18 and departing dec 19 4am via cebu pacific air. thanks matt and godbless..

Sohaib December 3, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hi I am a british citizen travelling from Pakistan to Cairo with a 15 hour stopoever in Riyadh where I have a friend who wants to show me around the city. Now, do I need a visa for that and what is the procedure? Thank You

@jonaathan: No visa on arrival under any circumstances and while you can try to get a transit visa from the Saudi mission in Manila (128 H.V. Dela Costa, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines), based on the offensively discriminatory manner in which Filipinos are treated in the Arab world, including the Kingdom, I would not hold out hope for a quick issuance of a visa and instead plan on remaining in the airport during your layover.

@Sohaib: You would need either a transit visa, which may be easier to attain in Islamabad or Karachi, or you could try for a personnel or family visit visa, where you would then list your friend's name and address in the invitee section of the visa application.

Mirza December 23, 2014 at 03:03 am


Thank you for the detailed post.Can please help me with the following queries.

I am trying to pay visa fee on Enjaz but its trying to charge me $267.70. my details: Business men visa,single entry, non-Us citizen, passport issued:Chicago,nationalty:Indian.

shouldn't the visa fee should be : $54.00 ?

Dear Mirza,

Unfortunately, you have to go with what the Enjaz site is charging because trying to contact tech support was futile in my experience.

I recommend, if you confirm the rate charged was incorrect, is that you lodge a credit card dispute after your trip is complete.

Malik December 30, 2014 at 07:53 am

Dear, i have a transit visa of saudi arabia 72 horus but i am using emirtates airline so my question is on arrival jeddah immigration will not disturb because for visa purpose i used saudi airline booking.

Malik, you should be fine -- as long as you have a valid transit visa in your passport, it does not matter which airline you fly.

Shaje February 3, 2015 at 11:31 am

Hi Matthew,

I wonder if you can help me with my questions. I have a single entry business visa from the Saudi consulate. I am planning to fly from JED to Dubai and then back to Jed in time for my flight back to GVA. Unfortunately I have two different bookings. Which means that according to the folks at Saudi Airlines - they will not be able to check my luggage all the way through. Even if both the bookings are on the same airline. Because I have 2 different PNR numbers, my luggage wont get through. So I have to collect my luggage a the JED airport and then walk right back in for my flight to GVA. Do you think immigration will let me walk out just to collect my bags??? Would I need a transit visa? Any suggestions?

Shaje, I think Dnata, the ground handling company who will check you in at DXB, will have no trouble tagging you bag all the way through to GVA. You should insist that the bag be tagged all the way through.

If not, I still would try to arrange the bag be tagged at JED. Go to the transit desk and present your case. Speaking Arabic will certainly help, but they speak English as well.

Only as a last resort try to go through immigration.

Please report back here how it turned out.

Rashid iqbal March 13, 2015 at 05:12 pm

hy methew I want to travel to south africa nd I have 72 hous stay at jadeha so may I illegible for transit visa nd I want to ask how much is the fee for tranait visa plz help me

@Rashid, will your stay be less than 72hrs or slightly over? What country will you begin your trip in? Transit visas are free if you can get one issued.

Muhammad March 24, 2015 at 08:30 am

Thanks everyone, really helpful info here. I m in Bahrain on a Visit Visa with US Passport, Bahrain has on-arrival visas for US Nationals. Would I be able to get a Visa for Saudi Arabia at the border if I am driving from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia just for a visit/tour (I'll have a Bahraini Citizen driving the car)?

@MUHAMMAD: I cannot answer the question, but sure would appreciate it if you would repot back here when you find out. I know Bahrain issues special visas for those transiting via the King Fahd Causeway to the Kingdom, but I do not know if visas are easier to obtain in Bahrain, but considering that KSA treats it as a sort of vassal state, it might be easier.

Muhammad April 9, 2015 at 09:32 am

So far what I've done is obtain a 5 year re-entry visit visa of Bahrain, I went to Saudi embassy here in Bahrain but they are not allowing me to get a tourist/visit visa (they said they don't have such visa until/unless I have a relative living in Saudi or a business in Saudi who can sponsor me). Saudi Arabia doesn't have an on-arrival visit visa like Bahrain does, they told me I cannot get a visa through the embassy nor on the causeway. I am not sure if I want to take the risk of leaving Bahrain through causeway and not being able to enter Saudi Arabia because even thou I have a multiple entry visit visa of Bahrain, Bahrain may not allow me to enter back in the country if I don't have a Saudi entrance proof on my passport... We all know how things are here, upside down!

Jo May 15, 2015 at 05:09 pm

Hello Matthew,

Thanks for writing this blog!! I have been searching for this information for quite some time. I have a 4 hour layover in Jeddah and was wondering if I needed a transit visa (Canadian Passport holder), from your blog, I see I do not!

Thanks for sharing this information. It is much appreciated!!

Muhammad May 16, 2015 at 07:27 am

suburbansam I read your last comment few minutes ago, btw I took a flight last month to go out & come back in. I was approaching that time this month as well but I met a family friend last night who is a Bahraini citizen & agreed on taking the risk to atleast try. Guess what fellows, it worked!!!! I was able to exit at the causeway, no questions asked, I handed over passports myself along with Bahraini's CPR to the immigration guy in the booth saying "Assalam O Alaikum" & in few minutes I was heading towards re-entry making a U-Turn. Same exact thing at re-entry, only odd thing was that I got an exit stamp on the passport but no stamp of re-entry, I got the car parked & went back to the same booth & told the guy sitting inside about this, he said no problem as in don't worry about it (since he entered the information in their computer I am guessing).

SO, let's see what happens next month, if you guys don't see another post from me next month, don't try it :)


Jazak Allah

Vince June 11, 2015 at 08:39 pm

Recent transit visa update from the NYC consulate:

Booked Saudia flights with a 18.5 hour layover Had hotel booked/travel insurance/letter from employer Enjaz filled out and paid ($10.50 and $16.00 transit visa fee) All application forms printed out and everything in order.

Flat out denied, saying they haven't offered transit visas in years. I mentioned that Saudia told me it would be possible, and that I'm stuck if they can't help me out. Just said "sorry, you must change your flights"

I was expecting this outcome anyway, but just wanted to report so no one else wastes unnecessary effort.

Frank June 19, 2015 at 04:11 pm

Just wanted to say thanks to the above poster, Vince, for that information. I was just planing to submit my visa application at the NYC consulate (once I finished getting my Ethiopian visa in the same building!), but clearly, that's not going to be an option. Looks like its going to be a long 9 hours in JED airport...

@Frank -- I think you should try anyway. It cannot hurt if you are already there.

Ahmed June 26, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Hi Matthew..... Please help me on this....

I received Following Email from travel Operator...

Due to new Saudi Arabia transit Visa rules, the connection time while in transit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has changed from 18-hours to 12-hours by Saudi Government. A Visa is required except for holders of onward tickets for a max transit time of 12 hours.

Customers holding a reservation with a transit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) greater than 12-hours are required to contact Saudi Airlines directly to make any necessary changes to their travel itinerary and to verify their transit Visa requirements; fare differences and airline penalties will apply.

My parents are coming from India on July 1st 2015 and they layover time 15 HR 25 min in Jeedah ,till today I was not aware of taking transit visa for their travel , so with in a short notice how to mange to get transit visa or do I need to change the dates for travel till they get transit visa or I need to cancel the ticket and book through different airline .. please suggest....

Thanks for posting this Ahmed...I will write a separate article on this after confirming with Saudi authorities.

Sona July 17, 2015 at 07:36 am

Dear Matthew, we followed your instructions and ordered the transit visa trough Enjazit website. Shall we now wait for any answer from Enjazit about the authorisation or shall we go with the application to the consulate? We are checking the link "issued visa" but its still not working. We have applied 4 days ago. Thanks, Sona

Dear Sona,

When you went through the payment procedures did you receive that confirmation notice stating "paid" like I have pictured above? If so, you can take in your visa application. What consulate/embassy are you applying at?

Zee July 21, 2015 at 08:41 am

Flying in December from the UK to Kuala Lumpur with Saudia and have a 5hr stopover in Jeddah on the way out and a 9hr stopover on the way back. Was wandering whether we need to get a transit visa for the 9hr stopover? Travelling with an extended family and hoping to get a hotel in close vicinity to Jeddah airport to freshen up. What do u suggest or should we just make do with staying in the terminal? Can't find much on what facilities are available at the South terminal in Jeddah, don't mind paying for lounge access.

@ZEE: You don't need a visa, but you will not be able to leave the airport. Terminal amenities are very limited. I would get a Priority Pass card so that you access the first class lounge --

Jeelani Mohammad July 29, 2015 at 05:11 pm

Hi Matthew, I want to thank you from bottom of my heart for taking time and provide such detailed explanation about your experience and continue to help others with their questions. Again Thank you very much , your information is very very helpful, hopefully I will be able to get a tourist visa, my stay is 90 hrs as I intend to visit Mecca and Medinah. Flying from Dubai to Medina and flying back from Jeddah to Dubai. As you said the saudi arabia website is really really sloppy, but no choice will have to deal with it if I need to get some kind of tourist or personal visa. Thank you Jeelani

aniqa September 1, 2015 at 04:09 pm

Hi Matthew, I found your post super helpful. I just wanted to know whether I'd need a transit visa - I'm a Canadian citizen traveling from Toronto to Karachi with a layover of 5 hrs on the way there and 16hrs on the way back. I don't intend on getting out of the airport as I chose this flight because it was the cheapest. I called Saudi airlines and they said layovers of 12 hrs+ require a transit visa, otherwise I will not be allowed to board. The embassy here in Ottawa is of no help when I called them - goes directly to voicemail. I really don't want to miss my flight because of this visa issue. Can you/anyone else be of any help?

Hi Aniqa, I took a look at TIMATIC (Travel Information Manual Automatic) and found the following for Canadian citizens transiting the Kingdom enroute to Pakistan--

The bottom line is that you require a visa and Saudia will likely deny you boarding. I recommend either changing your ticket or working with a known visa company like Travisa to try to obtain a transit visa. The diplomatic situation between Saudi Arabia and Canada is not great, so I think your best option, despite the change fees, will be to change the ticket.

It may be best to use the outbound ticket as planned and try to get the transit visa in Karachi, especially if you speak Urdu (and/or Arabic). If that fails, you can perhaps get a cheap PIA ticket back to Toronto.

Information as of 01SEP15 / 2300 UTC National Canada (CA) /Embarkation Canada (CA) Transit Saudi Arabia (SA) /Destination Pakistan (PK) ALSO CHECK DESTINATION INFORMATION BELOW Saudi Arabia (SA)

TWOV (Transit Without Visa): Visa required, except for Holders of onward tickets for a max. transit time of 12 hours. - Only one transit stop-over in Saudi Arabia is permitted. - Except when flying on Saudi Arabian Airlines, where a second transit point is permitted. Additional Information: - Passengers performing Umrah while in transit through Jeddah (JED) can obtain a transit visa up to 72 hours provided: Saudi Arabia (SA)

Passengers arriving within 6 days after leaving or transiting

and not holding a yellow fever vaccination certificate are subject to vaccination upon arrival and quarantine. (SEE NOTE 11460). NOTE 11460: Infected areas in Sudan are south of latitude 15 degrees. Certificate from local Sudanese health authorities is required, indicating that passengers have not visited these infected areas during the last 6 days prior to departure.

Exempt from Yellow Fever vaccination: - Passengers transiting Saudi Arabia if not leaving the transit area. - Passengers transiting countries with risk of yellow fever transmission if not leaving the transit areas. Warning: - Vaccination for Meningitis required for: - Hajis and Umrah passengers (SEE NOTE 24666). NOTE 24666: The date of vaccination should be not more than 3 years and not less than 10 days from the date of arrival in Saudi Arabia. Passenger not holding Meningitis vaccination certificate, if required, will be vaccinated upon arrival or quarantined. Pakistan (PK)

Passport required. - Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid on arrival.

Visa required, except for Holders of a Pakistan Origin Card (POC) or a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), for an unlimited period of stay. Visa Issuance: Visa required, except for Nationals of Canada traveling on business, can obtain a pre-arranged visa on arrival for a max.

  • Passengers of Pakistani origin can obtain a temporary landing permit for 72 hours, provided:

Additional Information: - Extention of stay if possible; to be applied for at the Ministry of Interior.

Warning: - Visitors not holding return/onward ticket could be refused entry. - Exempt are holders of a Pakistan Origin Card (POC), holders of a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), holders of passports containing a "Visa exempt" stamp issued by Pakistan and passengers having dual nationality and using Pakistan passport. Pakistan (PK)

Passengers arriving within 6 days after leaving or transiting

and not holding a yellow fever vaccination certificate are subject to quarantine for 6 days.

Exempt from Yellow Fever vaccination: - Children under 9 months of age if the mother's vaccination certificate shows that she has been duly vaccinated prior to the birth of the child. - Passengers transiting countries with risk of yellow fever transmission provided not leaving the transit areas. Warning: - Vaccination against Polio prior to departure from Pakistan required for all nationals and residents of Pakistan, and for visitors staying in Pakistan for more than 4 weeks. Recommended: - Malaria prophylaxis: malaria risk (P. vivax and P. falciparum) exists throughout the year in the whole country below 2000m, especially in rural areas from July to December. Recommended prevention: C.

Munazza October 5, 2015 at 06:12 pm

Hi Matthew, Thanks for writing this blog.

Me and my husband (Canadian Citizens) are planning our 3 week holidays in Dubai with family, after mid January 2016. How can we get 72 hours Saudi transit visa in Toronto Canada and can we perform Ummrah if we have Vaccination for Meningitis also.

Agencies provide very expensive Ummrah packages.

I will really appreciate for your help. Stay Blessed Munazza Jabeen

Hi Munazza, I wish I knew more about Ummrah visas, but I do not think it is necessary to obtain one through a tourist agency. Not sure where you are, but visit the Embassy in Ottawa or a consulate and you should be able to get an Ummrah visa if your itinerary is planned and lodging booked.

Qasim October 21, 2015 at 04:58 am

Did you fly with Saudia Airline? will the embassy honor the tranist visa if I am flying with some other airline as I've heard they just stamp the visa if you are flying with Saudi Airline.


QASIM, good question -- I was flying with Saudia and submitted my itinerary when requesting the transit visa, but it does not appear that the visa limits me to that flight. Perhaps it does in the Arabic portion...?

Marcus K. October 27, 2015 at 08:14 am

Hi Matthew, I am an America citizen with an America passport. I have just booked a ticket from Nairobi, Kenya to JFK, with a layover of 13hours and 5 minutes.I am currently in Tanzania and will ride a bus to Nairobi. But anyway, I don't mind staying in the airport for the layover. Will I be allowed to board the plan without a transit visa. And if so will I be allowed to enter the airport without a transit visa. Please respond ASAP, the flight takes off from Nairobi November 3, 2015 to Jeddah. If not, how can I get one ASAP!

Marcus, if you are transiting through KSA for only 13hr, no transit visa will be needed.


Marcus K. October 28, 2015 at 03:09 am

Hey Matthew, Thanks for the reply. I just got off the phone from the Saudi Arabian airline and ask them and they told me that the new rule is that more than a 12 hour layover requires a transit visa. The guy was so straight forward when he told me, as if he been asked that question so many times. But luckily I can get a transit visa in Nairobi within 3 working days. So that's a breathe of fresh air. But 12 hours is the rule of thumb, even if its 13 hours and 5 minutes. I got that directly from the Saudi Arabian Airline Customer Service Agent.

Marcus K. October 28, 2015 at 05:46 am

UPDATE: Matthew I had my friend contact the Saudi Arabia embassy in Nairobi and they told him that no transit visa is needed for 18 hours or less layovers. But my only thing is the airline that I am boarding is saying 12 hours. Man I am confused. But that agent was from and Saudi Arabia airline customer service in America. I need a sure answer fast from a credible source.

Marcus, the rule is 18hrs. The airline is wrong.

San November 3, 2015 at 08:27 pm

Is there any update for whether they're issuing transit visas in DC?

No transit visas are being issued at this time in the USA

San November 3, 2015 at 08:49 pm

Have you heard anything about London or Frankfurt?

San November 3, 2015 at 09:15 pm

Also seem to be getting the error: 'Generic Transaction Failure :Sale-3000 Payment Failed' when paying for the Enjaz. Any experience with this?

No experience with that -- the Enjaz website remains horrible.

Asif November 7, 2015 at 09:54 am

Hi MATTHEW I am going to Pakistan my home .from Sudan through Saoudi air line .I have transit visa of KSA with 65 hours stay . Duration of stay is 3 days at my visa . while I ll reach in jedha on 12 Nov and fly to Pakistan on 15 Nov . Is it OK 65 hours stay in 4 dates ?

Asif November 7, 2015 at 02:43 pm

Please help me. 66 hours stay in 4 dates allowed for KSA transit visa .while my visa stay duration is 3 days.

@Asif: Yes, staying over four calendar days is no problem.

Asif November 8, 2015 at 02:48 am

Thanks Matthew

KRISH December 7, 2015 at 12:33 am

Fantastic blog, well maintained for over 2 years! Kudos Matthew! After repeated attempts, a Saudi Embassy agent told me just now that no transit visas are issued in Washington DC. I am going there in person tomorrow and see if I can try my luck that way.

@KRISH: What happened? Hope you were successful!

Sibil December 13, 2015 at 10:12 pm

'Travellers whose connection time is over 6 hours and less than 18 hours may be allowed to leave the airport for hotel accommodation or shopping. If travellers are granted permission to leave the airport, immigration authorities will hold their passports and issue a transit permit which must be submitted to immigration three hours before departure. One coloured passport photograph is required.'

I've read about this on a few places online as a 'Transit Without Visa' option. Have you had any luck with anyone actually obtaining this on arrival in Saudi?

@Sibil: That's quite, I have never heard of anyone successfully getting this, but please report back if you are able to.

sadln December 16, 2015 at 08:40 pm

@Marcus, Matthew:

It appears the rule may now be 12 hr transit, not 18. Per a Saudia memo to travel agents from February ( :

". . . all Travel Service Providers inside and outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are kindly requested NOT to make/accept PNRs or issue tickets for transit passengers via KSA if the connecting time is more than 12 hours unless they are granted a transit visa issued by Saudi embassies/consulates. "

Asa January 20, 2016 at 08:08 pm

Im living in saudi and going to europe in a journey .. i want my wife to come from usa to saudi and start the journey with me and go back with me then leave back .. is this valid for a transite visa?

She does not need a transit visa if she does not leave the airport and her stay is under 12 hours.

sunil March 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

i am sri lankan passport holders working in addis come to srilanka through the riyadh transit hours 19 how to take saudi transit visa,........ need or... no need ,,,,, how to take pl help me

Sunil, you will need a transit visa. Get one here:

Embassy of Saudi Arabia   Address: 43, Horton Pl, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka Phone:+94 11 2 682087

Tas May 3, 2016 at 05:17 am

Hi Matthew, Thanks for your detailed article.

I can't believe how convoluted the rules are for transit! Any word on what's the latest for US citizens?

As of May 2016, is it still correct they don't issue transit visas but you can stay in the airport up 12 hours, possibly even leaving the airport to go to a hotel and they keep your passport and you have to be back 3 hours before departure and at that time they return your passport? I'm looking at a flight but it's got a layover of 12 hours and 45 minutes, d'oh! It begs the question at what time does the "transit " clock start lol, is it the time you land, the time you pass through immigration? I don't know if you know the answers to that, but any updated info you have would be much appreciated:)

Thanks in advance

Hi Tas -- I believe that 12hrs,45min is too long under current rules and you may be denied boarding. In any case, it is unlikely you will be allowed to leave the airport without a valid transit visa.

Tas May 9, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Matthew, I called the local Saudi embassy where I'd be departing from KL, they said the maximum layover/transit time, that is staying within the airport, is 4 hours, no longer. I don't know if that's accurate, but perhaps that is the latest update.

Amit May 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

I an Indian national . I booked a ticket from Paris to India and when I arrived at CDG airport, the guy at check-in counter said I need a transit visa because my stay at Riyadh airport was about 14 hrs (>12 hrs). after a lot of discussions finally I got my boarding pass with a disclaimer that if something happens at Riyadh airport, I will be solely responsible. I was surprised because I travelled couple of times earlier on same route without any issue. after arriving at Riyadh it was business as usual like my previous travels with absolutely no problems. But next time I wish to have transit visa to avoid any risk or BP raising at the prospect of loosing all ticket money and jeopardizing travel plans . So two questions:

what is transit visa fee: I saw at Enjaj website mention it $ 10.5. is this correct? How do you write name in Arabic? does Google translation works? Thanks a lot, Amit

Amit, Glad you did not face any issues in RUH and I am shocked AF let you through ...

Enjaz is in English and Arabic

Damawanti June 25, 2016 at 05:24 pm

Hi Matthew, I am an Indonesia passport holder but currently living in Italy. I will flight using Saudi Arabia on 20th July, from Rome to Indonesia, transit time in Jeddah up to 23 hours. I need a transit visa definitely. But my question is, can I apply for transit visa (or other visa type) if I am a female and I am travelling alone?

I have read somewhere that female cannot apply transit visa to Saudi but what about regular visa or visit visa? Am I still eligible to apply? Or should I just use Travisa service for it? Anyway, I can't refund my ticket and if I do, I can't get back my money.

Any advice for me? Thanks in advance.


Because you are female, you would not be allowed to transit or leave the airport alone, no matter what visa you obtain.

santi July 4, 2016 at 06:23 am

Dear Mathew,

I am santi from Indonesia and I will fly from Germany by saudi arabian airlines via jeddah, my transit time is less than 12 hours, would you please provide me an official statement than mention if I transit less than 12 ours, I do not need a visa, so I can send it to the airlines that request me to apply for entry visa. thank you

ahffan July 19, 2016 at 07:00 pm

I am applying for a transit visa from Washington DC.(travel IAD --> COK) I read many comments saying the Saudi embassy wont approve. I am taking my chance and seeing if it gets approved. The embassy website has charged me nearly 45 dollars ( including insurance and all). I gave 3 days on visa validity.

Dumi September 8, 2016 at 02:47 pm

Does anyone have any recent success with obtaining a transit visa through the Saudi embassy in the USA? I am a US citizen with a 12 hour layover in Riyadh on the way back from Bahrain... wondering if they have begun reissuing transit visas?


@Dumi: It is my understanding that transit visas are still unavailable in the USA.

Mogan September 30, 2016 at 04:29 am

Hi Matthew,

Great that I found some support. I have booked a flight through Malaysia Airlines and flying to Jeddah before even checking out the Visa rules. My bad, the flight was super cheap and I thought I can spend a week in Jeddah. Now, knowing that there are no Tourist/Visiting Visa available for Saudi. I am thinking of getting a transit Visa out to another nearby country. My question, if I book a flight through Saudia and fly out, and then apply for the Transit Visa, optimistically if I get one, will I be allowed to go out of the airport for a day or two? since there are 72 hours, I am thinking of booking a flight to Cairo and spend 2 nights in Jeddah, hoping that I can see the city. On the way back, i will just layover in the airport. I am a male. Any suggestion that you give, would be leally helpful. Thanks.

Abdul Rasheed Syed October 17, 2016 at 04:37 am

Hello Matthew, This is Syed Abdul Rasheed. Iam an indian national. iam living in germany with family. i want to visit india in december. due to chap flight fare i want to take the saudi airlines from munich to jedda. i have a transit around 65 hours. i want to see jeddah city. For that i need a transit visa. Is saudi embassy is issueing transit visas now a days ? how much is the transit visa fee now. I heard that from 2 nd .Oct.2016, all visa fees are increased.I need the transit visa for me and and also for my wife and 2 children (5 and 2 yeras old) For applying the transit visa can i go alone and submit my family members transit visa also or there should also come to the embassy?

Thank you in advance.

Regards, Rasheed.

Hi Rasheed, I don't have any current info on Germany, but it is worth a shot -- please report back if you are successful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.