DUBAI – If you wish to enter Saudi Arabia, prepare yourself to pay up to $2,100 in visa fees. The fees will vary depending on the length of your stay and number of entry times.

The new visa fees was endorsed by the Saudi cabinet on Monday, August 8, and will come into effect on October 2. The decision has stirred an outcry from  tourists and families of residents who wish to visit the Kingdom, with many denouncing the steep charges.

As per the new fees,  it is now cheaper to travel to most countries than to go to Saudi Arabia. The current single visa fee is approximately SR 1480 ($390) and serves up to 3 months, while a multiple entry visa fee costs around $500 and serves up to six months.

According to a government statement, Saudi Arabia will bear the costs of a one-time entry visa to those wishing to perform Hajj and Umrah for the first time.
Passengers passing through the Kingdom while in transit, or during departure, will also have to pay the amount.  A transit visa fee is set at SR 300, and a departure fee of SR 50 is also mandatory to pay for those exiting the country via any of its seaports.
However, it’s the newly hiked visa fees that has caused an outcry. As per the new directives, a one-time entry visa will now cost  2,000 Saudi Riyals ($533.3); ; a multi-entry visa fees may exceed $2,000 as follows:
* A six months multiple entry visa will cost SR 3,000 .
* A one-year multiple entry visa will cost SR 5,000.
* A two-year multiple entry visa will cost SR 8,000.
With regards to exit and re-entry visas, a single trip for a maximum of two months will now cost SR 200, with an additional SR 100 for every extra month of stay, within the limits of the duration of the residence permit’s validity.
Visa fees for multiple trips for three months will now be charged SR 500, with SR 200 for every additional month within the limits of the duration of the residence permit’s validity.
“A royal decree has been prepared for this purpose and the application of the provisions of this decision shall be as of 01/01/1438 H corresponding to (02/10/2016 G),” according to the government’s statement issued by the official Saudi Press Agency.
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