Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

All visitors, including pilgrims, need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. You should apply for a visa through visa agencies accredited to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. If you overstay your visa you will be fined and deported.

If you’re transiting through Saudi Arabia, you may need a transit visa if the connecting time between your flights is more than 12 hours. Once the ticket is issued, you should confirm with your airline or travel agency if you need a transit visa. You should be able to apply for a transit visa through your airline, travel agency or through an established agent via the visa section of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

If you’re planning to travel to Saudi Arabia via the causeway from Bahrain you should check the terms of your Saudi visa before travelling. If you’re planning to apply for a visa, you should seek advice (eg from your visa agent, the Saudi Embassy or your employer) about the visa options available to you. Saudi visas may only allow for entry into the country by air and may prevent you from entering across a land border including via the causeway from Bahrain.

The Saudi authorities have announced that all Muslims not holding Hajj visas will not be permitted to enter Saudi Arabia via Jeddah or Madina airports during Hajj. The only exceptions are those holding Saudi residency permits, although anecdotal evidence has suggested that in recent years even Muslim residency permit holders have had difficulties boarding flights to Jeddah and Madina in the days immediately before Hajj. These rules don’t apply to entry via Saudi Arabia’s other international airports.

If you’re a non-Muslim visitor travelling to these destinations, you may be asked to explain the purpose of your trip or asked to show evidence of an appointment before being allowed to board a flight to Jeddah. For further detailed advice on visa requirements for Hajj and Umrah, contact the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London.

British residents in Saudi Arabia will need a valid exit or re-entry permit from the Saudi Ministry of Interior to leave the country.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Saudi Arabia.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) aren’t valid for entry into Saudi Arabia or for transiting through Saudi Arabia. However, ETDs are accepted for exit from Saudi Arabia.

Previous Travel to Israel

You may be refused entry to Saudi Arabia if your passport contains evidence of previous travel to Israel or indicates Israel as your birthplace.

Female Travellers

If you are a female visitor or resident you must be met by your sponsor on arrival. Otherwise you may face delays before being allowed to enter the country or to continue on other flights.

Foreign women married to Saudi nationals must have permission from their husband  to leave Saudi Arabia.