I am not going for the Hajj or for the Jeddah Season Events.
I understand that there is no tourist visa for Saudi Arabia, but I have friends there to visit.

This website has a visa application form for "personal visit" but everything is in Arabic, even if you click on "English"!

Is there any way to do the application without the assistance of someone (or some translation device) that knows Arabic?

  • 1
    Reading this Wikipedia article, it is not clear if they even issue tourist visas or not en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Saudi_Arabia
    – hojusaram
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 2:41
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    That is the Canadian embassy in Saudi Arabia, not the Saudi embassy in Canada. That is why it only has information for Saudi people to visit Canada. Try the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Canada web site instead. Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 7:51
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    One of my friends from college befriended the son of a Saudi prominent (IIRC a Saudi prince) at college and was offered a visit to Saudi Arabia. Realistically, this is probably the best possibility for most people...
    – xuq01
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 5:18
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    @JonathanReez: Each country has a different procedure for applying for visas. If we remove "Canadians" then the question becomes ambiguous, because the procedure for Canadians might be different from the procedure for Japanese. My question contained "However, the Canadian website for the Saudi Arabia embassy only contains information for Saudi people to visit Canada: canadainternational.gc.ca/saudi_arabia-arabie_saoudite/…". How can this be made more general? Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 5:29
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    The Canadian part of the question was relevant as Canada is not on the list of countries who's citizens will (eventually) be issued tourist visas. Saudi consulates also do have very different procedures for applying for visas depending on the country, and based on the experience of my colleagues, applying in CA is even more difficult than applying in the US.
    – Doc
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 6:03

2 Answers 2


UPDATE as at September 28, 2019:

Effective today, Saudi Arabia has started issuing tourist visas to the nationals of 49 countries, including Canada (which was the country originally being asked about in this question)

eVisas can be obtained via the official Saudi Visa Website, or on arrival in Saudi via a kiosk, at a cost of around US$125.

Original Answer:

Realistically, you probably can't - at least, not at the moment.

Saudi Arabian visas are incredibly difficult to get. As you've said, there is no Tourist visa, and presumably you don't qualify for a Hajj visa (and even if you did, they only allow entry to specific areas and on specific dates - you can't travel within the country).

In general, the only visa a Canadian could get to access the country generally would be a business visa - but the chances of getting one of these without a valid business reason is basically zero. The paperwork required to justify your application is significant, as are the costs (my last Saudi visa cost over US$1600). All applications need to be done via an authorized agent, of which there are only a few - and as you've discovered several parts of the process need to be completed in Arabic.

The Saudi government stated in 2013 that they were going to start issuing tourist visas to citizens of select countries, however to date this has not started - with the latest estimates being by the end of 2019. However even if that occurs, Canada was not on the published list of countries that were to be included - although that could well change by the time they start issuing visas.

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    "getting one of these without a valid business reason is basically zero" - of course, you could always come up with a business reason, such as wanting to visit a trade expo of some sort or wanting to meet with suppliers of something you might want to resell in your country. Plenty of hardcore travelers do that every year.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 22:31
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    @JonathanReez The bar set for such things is incredibly high. Despite working for a >100,000 person company with a globally household-known name, I had to get paperwork like a certificate of incorporation to prove that we existed. The requirements from the Saudi company that is inviting you is similar. I'm not saying it's impossible (I read an article by someone recently who did it), but it's about as close to it as you could get.
    – Doc
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 0:01
  • The article I was referring to - onestep4ward.com/i-got-saudi-arabia-visa
    – Doc
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 0:10
  • that's what I was talking about :) it's hard but not impossible.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 1:02
  • Is there a list of all the citizens that are eligible for "visa on arrival" and what the requirements therefore are (e.g. confirmed hotel booking)? I am asking because my airline states that they want to see the visa during boarding of the flight. But from my point of view, this is not necessary anymore, since visas can be obtained "on arrival".
    – uu974
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 11:15

In September 2019 Saudi Arabia announced it is going to open its borders for tourists with a new visa regime.

BBC: Saudi Arabia's tourist spots you are now free to visit

The Saudi Visa Portal lists Canada as one of the 49 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania eligible for the new visa regime.

According to the portal:

The eVisa will be a one-year, multiple entry visa, allowing tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country.

  • Thank you for the correction and additional information. Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 10:15
  • Great news! Do we know the cost of the eVisa?
    – kiradotee
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 18:46
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    @kiradotee $117 USD, including the medical insurance. Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 8:06

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