Myself and my family, Philippine passport holders, are arriving at Riyadh terminal 2, and departing to Abu Dhabi from Terminal 3. Can we go from the arrivals level in terminal 2 to the departures level in terminal 3 without going through immigration?

We are traveling each with a single ticket.

  • 2
    I’m surprised you have a connection from terminal 2 to terminal 3 if both flights are on the same ticket. What are the flights involved?
    – jcaron
    Dec 14, 2023 at 12:45
  • I am not sure if I am answering your clarification correctly. Let me say, we are flying via Philippines Airlines arriving on Terminal 2 at Riyadh. Departing after 11 hours on Etihad on Terminal 3. Does this clarify my question? I dont need a transit visa but I am concerned if i need to go thrugh immigrations jsut to transfer terminals
    – Fernando
    Dec 16, 2023 at 1:05
  • Do you have a single ticket that covers both flights? In other words, do you have a single PNR (booking reference) and a single e-ticket number for both flights? While Philippine Airlines and Etihad have an interline agreement, I don’t think they applied in RUH, only in Abu Dhabi and Manila.
    – jcaron
    Dec 16, 2023 at 9:56
  • Yes, jcaron, I have a single booking reference for both flights. I chacked both iarlines separately for the booking using the same confirmation number. This is actually how I confirmed that departure on Etihad at RUH is on Terminal 3. Although their actual flight on-line check-in is not yet open, it does show Etihad on departure is on Terminal 3.
    – Fernando
    Dec 17, 2023 at 20:11
  • I would recommend you call them and ask them how you can get from T2 to T3 without going through immigration. I don’t know how that ticket was issued, it’s definitely not a standard routing for a flight from Manila to Abu Dhabi.
    – jcaron
    Dec 17, 2023 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, there is no way to transit airside between terminals at Riyadh airport, except between terminals 3 and 4.

So you need to go through immigration to exit terminal 2 before you can move to terminal 3.

This in turn means you need a visa to be able to enter Saudi Arabia, unless you qualify for one of the exemptions.

There are anecdotal reports of people who were able to get escorted from one terminal to the other airside, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Note that I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually had two separate tickets rather than a single ticket covering both flights. In that case, you will also need to retrieve your checked luggage in Terminal 2, carry it to Terminal 3, and check-in again there. In that case there is absolutely no doubt that you need to go through immigration. You would also incur all the risks associated with a self-transfer, though given the long layover time the risk is limited (but not non-existent).

  • Hello jcaron thank you very much. This certainly enlightened me on my query. Will I need a transit VISA in this case? I have been on the portal of Saudi Immigrations and I meet all the criteria for a no transit Visa needed.
    – Fernando
    Dec 17, 2023 at 18:06
  • The requirements for not needing the “no transit VISA” are 1) less than 12 hours of transit, 2) confirmed onward flight outside Saudi 3) and all other document requirements like more than 6 months valid passport. Kindly further share your experience or your thoughts on the matter. Thank you
    – Fernando
    Dec 17, 2023 at 18:07
  • @Fernando where did you find those requirements? You are missing an important rule: stay in the international area of the airport, which you won’t be able to do. Also if your flights are booked separately as I think they are, the first airline will want proof you can enter Saudi, not just transit airside, so a visa (or other evidence you can enter visa free or with a visa on arrival) is required.
    – jcaron
    Dec 17, 2023 at 20:54
  • hello jcaron, I foudn the requirements listed in the Saudi Immigrations e-VISA Portal. I am already all set in getting the VISA, whether transit or full blown VISA. It is just that there is no way to process my coniditons becasue again like the portal says, I do not need a VISA.
    – Fernando
    Dec 18, 2023 at 13:05
  • I am willing to get the VISAs, whether transit or Tourist. Problem is, no way I can submit it via online. No way I can submit it direct to the Embassy as they say I do not need.
    – Fernando
    Dec 18, 2023 at 13:06

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