A research report states that Saudi Arabia’s Outbound Tourism market is expected to be worth $43 billion by the end of 2025. The number of outbound tourists from the country has seen a consistent increase over the years. A major reason for this could be the lack of entertainment facilities in the country.
While most Saudis prefer to visit Middle Eastern countries, like the UAE, Jordan and Bahrain, there has also been an increase in the number of travelers to western nations. The United States has, in fact, experienced an annual increase in the number of Saudi tourists in recent years.
If you are a Saudi Arabian citizen planning a trip to the US, here is a guide on applying for a visit visa.
Eligibility for US Visit Visa from Saudi
Section 214(b) of the United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act presumes that every visit visa applicant is an intending immigrant. To overcome this, you will need to provide evidence of the following to the consular officer:
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
- That you intend to visit the US for a definite period of time and then return to your home country.
- The nature of your trip is temporary and revolves around medical treatment, business or leisure.
- You have the necessary funds to sustain yourself during your stay in the US.
- You own a permanent residence outside the US and have other economic or social ties that guarantee your return to Saudi Arabia.
Steps to Apply for US Visit Visa from Saudi Arabia
- Fill in the Electronic Visa Application Form with accurate information. The form will need you to furnish personal details, passport details, employment information, educational background, travel plans, contact details of the person inviting you to the US, etc.
- Pay the US$160 visa fee in Riyal and note down the receipt number generated after the payment is processed. This will help you schedule your visa interview appointment at the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia.
- Log in to the online portal and enter the receipt number when you are ready to book your appointment at the embassy closest to you. Currently, there are three US embassies in Saudi Arabia. One is at Dhahran Airport, another in Riyadh and the third in Jeddah.
- Visit your chosen embassy on the scheduled date and time, and carry the required documents with you.
Things to Remember
Make sure that your passport will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your US trip. In case you are applying for a visit visa to seek medical treatment in the US, you need to provide the following documents.
- A medical diagnosis from your doctor, explaining your ailment and the reason why you need to seek treatment in the US.
- A letter from a hospital or doctor in the US, stating that they are willing to provide you medical care. It should also explain in detail the length of treatment, along with its total cost.
- A statement from the individual or organization bearing your treatment and living expenses in the US. These persons/organizations will need to provide proof of their ability to bear your medical expenses via bank statements or copies of income tax returns.
For the visa interview, don’t forget to take along key documents that prove your identity, contact details, financial status and ability to bear your living expenses in the US. This could include an invitation letter from a friend or relative too.