I plan to leave Guangzhou for Istanbul at the end of July. The departure will be transferred at RUH Airport in Riyadh (stay about 3 hours), and the return will be transferred at JED Airport in Jeddah (stay about 8 hours). I know that if I stay at the above two airports for no more than 12 hours, I do not need to apply for a transit visa, but my ticket is not a onward ticket.(SV885 from Guangzhou to Riyadh and SV277 from Riyadh to Istanbul) In addition, I do not know whether I need to leave the international transit area (Departures and arrivals are from the same terminal)

Do I really need to apply for a transit visa? This is my first international travel, any detailed answer will be appreciated.

Related:Do I need a transit visa for Saudi Arabia?

  • 1
    Is that a single ticket? And are you a PRC citizen? Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 7:29
  • @NicolasFormichella No.It's a round trip ticket. Both are Saudia Airlines. Yes, I'm a Chinese.
    – origamist
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 7:42
  • @WangHaozhi Since this is your first international travel, I'd advise you to familiarize yourself with import restrictions in Saudi Arabia, they're pretty strict. Even if you're only transiting through it, you must not carry anything considered illegal by their laws. Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 6:09

1 Answer 1


No, you likely won't need it

TIMATIC for Saudi Arabia states :

TWOV (Transit Without Visa)

Passengers transiting through Dammam (DMM), Jeddah (JED) or Riyadh (RUH) with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 12 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination.

Only one transit stop-over in Saudi Arabia is permitted.

On the outbound leg, you are doing CAN-RDH-IST, which means you have a flight to outside Saudi Arabia. The same is also applying for the inbound leg IST-JED-CAN, and therefore you fulfil the TWOV provided this is a single ticket from Saudia

You can check that :

  • If you are booking directly through the airline (VERY RECOMMENDED, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are not worth the pain), it is assured that you aren't leaving the transit lounge
  • If the OTA itinerary doesn't mention self-connection/you have to re-check your baggage

If you have already booked, check your reservation for a 6 character code, if it is the same across all legs of the trip then you are fine.

Only one transit stop-over in Saudi Arabia is permitted.

The above phrase restricts you from doing an itinerary like this one


Because you'd have two stops in Saudi Arabia

  • Thanks a lot. I'll book them through airlines.
    – origamist
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 8:06

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