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Is the Singapore visa free for Saudi Arabia citizens?

Goh Jun Cheng

Introduction

Saudi Arabia citizens need a visa to enter Singapore. This applies to tourists, business travelers, and those transiting through Singapore. Singapore has visa waiver agreements with some countries, allowing their citizens to enter visa-free for short stays, but Saudi Arabia is not currently part of this arrangement.

There are a few different visa options available:

Tourist Visa

The most common visa for leisure travel is the tourist visa. This allows stays of up to 30 days and can be applied for online via the SG Arrival Card system. An approved ETA allows visa-free entry.

Business Visa

For visits for business, conferences, training, or meetings, the business visa is required. This allows stays of up to 30 days and must be arranged with the assistance of a local sponsor in Singapore. Letters of invitation are usually needed.

Transit Visa

For passengers transiting through Singapore and staying less than 96 hours, a transit visa can be pre-arranged. This allows access to the transit area of the airport only.

Visa Application Process

Applying for a Singapore visa typically requires submitting an application form, valid passport, proof of funds, travel booking confirmations, and potentially other supporting documents. Processing times range from 1-5 working days for ETA tourist visas to 1-4 weeks for other visa types.

Why the Visa Requirement Exists

Singapore maintains strict visa requirements as part of its national security and immigration control policies. The country manages a large amount of travel and transit through its airport and wants to ensure only legitimate travelers are entering and moving through the country. This is likely why Saudi Arabia citizens are not exempted from visa requirements like citizens of some other nations are.

Long-Term Passes

For those looking to stay in Singapore longer than 30 days, other long-term passes are available, like the EntrePass for entrepreneurs and Employment Pass for workers. These have additional eligibility criteria related to business plans, investment funds, and qualifications.

Current State of Saudi-Singapore Relations

Saudi Arabia and Singapore have had growing ties over the past few decades. Singapore is Saudi Arabia’s 14th largest trading partner globally, and the two countries have cultivated closer relations in recent years across trade, defense, investments, air services, and more. While tourism and people-to-people ties have expanded, the visa rules remain in place for now.

Options for Saudi Citizens Wanting to Visit

Despite the visa requirement, Saudi citizens have plenty of options for visiting Singapore:

  • Apply for an ETA tourist visa online to simplify the process
  • Work with a local sponsor to obtain a business visa
  • Plan transit time under 96 hours to use the transit visa
  • Consider applying for one of the long-term passes if looking to stay over 30 days

The visa application process just takes some pre-planning. This ensures Saudis can experience everything Singapore has to offer – from Marina Bay Sands to Sentosa Island to Kampong Glam. The diversity of Singapore makes it a fascinating place to explore for tourists from Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Conclusion

Citizens of Saudi Arabia do need visas in order to enter Singapore, whether as a tourist, for business, or even in transit. Singapore does not currently offer visa-free entry for Saudi citizens like it does for some other nations.

References

Singapore Electronic Travel Authorization. “ETA Singapore.” https://www.eta.gov.sg/

Government of Singapore. “Do You Need a Visa?” https://www.ica.gov.sg/enter-depart/do-you-need-a-visa-to-enter-singapore

embassypages.com. “Saudi Arabian Embassy in Singapore.” https://embassy-finder.com/saudi_arabia_in_singapore

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