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Old Dec 5, 12, 11:32 am   #1
 
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Layover in Jeddah ~ 15 hours

Hi, I have a Indian passport with a Valid US Visa(H1-B) Visa. I am travelling from New York to Hyderabad(India) and have a layover of 10 hours during my on-ward journey to hyderabad and while returning,i have around 15 hours layover in Jeddah.
Being an Indian national, Am i eligible to apply for a transit visa to visit and do shopping in Jeddah for like 4-5 hours ? I have another software friend living in Jeddah, so he can also sponsor me, but i am not sure whom to contact? Tried emailing the Saudi Arabian embassy but no reply. Is the transit visa something i can get at the Airport itself?

Thanks for any help!

Appreciate it.

Thanks,
Kon
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Old Dec 5, 12, 1:20 pm   #2
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I don't believe this will be easy. KSA doesn't issue visas unless there is a clear requirement, e.g. business, pilgrimage, long transit, and they don't issue tourist visas except for rare organised tours. There is definitely no concept of visa on arrival.

Since there you don't appear to need a transit visa (i.e. your transit is <18 hours) I doubt they will issue one. However, this is Saudi and there are always exceptions, so it's worth checking the embassy website and perhaps calling them. Transit visas are free so you could just apply and see what happens, if you can be without your passport for up to a week or more.

If your friend is senior enough, it's possible for his company to create the appropriate invitation to support a business visa. There is however a lot of paperwork and I wouldn't expect this to cost less than USD200 if using a visa agency to handle the application for you.

Another point worth considering: it can take a very long time to get through immigration - anything between 10 mins and several hours. It can be an uncomfortable experience, especially (and I'm treading on eggshells here) if you are a south Asian national and have brown skin.

All in all, this is not for the faint hearted, but IMO definitely worth it for the cultural experience

hth
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Old Dec 13, 12, 12:54 am   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunk View Post
I don't believe this will be easy. KSA doesn't issue visas unless there is a clear requirement, e.g. business, pilgrimage, long transit, and they don't issue tourist visas except for rare organised tours. There is definitely no concept of visa on arrival.

Since there you don't appear to need a transit visa (i.e. your transit is <18 hours) I doubt they will issue one. However, this is Saudi and there are always exceptions, so it's worth checking the embassy website and perhaps calling them. Transit visas are free so you could just apply and see what happens, if you can be without your passport for up to a week or more.

If your friend is senior enough, it's possible for his company to create the appropriate invitation to support a business visa. There is however a lot of paperwork and I wouldn't expect this to cost less than USD200 if using a visa agency to handle the application for you.

Another point worth considering: it can take a very long time to get through immigration - anything between 10 mins and several hours. It can be an uncomfortable experience, especially (and I'm treading on eggshells here) if you are a south Asian national and have brown skin.

All in all, this is not for the faint hearted, but IMO definitely worth it for the cultural experience

hth
Agree fully, My recent experience bore this out precisely.
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Old Dec 13, 12, 8:35 am   #4
 
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Im in the same predicament, most likely wouldn't be able to go out of the airport for the 16 hours overnight layover. Is there a transit hotel that I can stay at? 24 hours lounge? If not, where should I camp out at?
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Old Dec 20, 12, 10:26 am   #5
 
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Don't bother, nothing to see in Jeddah - just camp out in the airport and get some rest.
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Old Dec 24, 12, 7:59 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by brp1264 View Post
Don't bother, nothing to see in Jeddah - just camp out in the airport and get some rest.
Jeddah is one of the most interesting places I've been, from the restaurants to the women jogging (in abayas) along the corniche. It's not somewhere you can really dip into, though.
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Old Dec 30, 12, 9:25 am   #7
 
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Hello, I hope I can jump in here.
I have following issue:
I have a ticket KWI-RUH-JED-MXP, all on different aircrafts with SV. So there is a "real" domestic flight there. I have no transit visa. According to Timatic it is allowed to have 2 transit points within KSA if travelling SV and not exceeding 18 hours in the country.
Is this really true? How does this in practice work? 2 agents of SV in Frankfurt told me I am not allowed to fly this itinerary without transit visa. Timatic says it is allowed.

They would rebook me to KWI-JED-RUH with a 15 hours layover or so, making total time longer (and travel experience less interesting, too), but I would like to keep my 2 stop itinerary. I am anxious that the 2 stop rule when flying SV is only something on the paper and once you arrive in KSA they don't care at all what is written...

Does anyone have experience with that? Otherwise I will just reroute myself on the 1 stop itinerary via JED, but this is less fun for sure and would mean a looong wait at the airport. I have lounge access though ,and by the way I believe you can pay for getting into the lounge, which is probably worth it, considering you get food and a nicer place to rest, and your only other option is hang around airside as you can't leave the airport anyway.
I also read they give you meal vouchers, no matter if in Lounge or not.
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