Visiting Saudi? Health insurance mandatory


As of December health insurance will be mandatory for all expats coming to Saudi Arabia on visit visas.

If you are planning a short stay in Saudi Arabia or you are visiting a family member over the Christmas period next month, don’t forget to apply for health insurance.

From December, health insurance will be mandatory for all anyone coming to Saudi Arabia on a temporary visa. It also includes the expatriate’s family on a family visit visa.

When applying for a visit visa, an extension or even a transit visa, expats should present valid insurance certificates showing that they are medically covered inside Saudi Arabia for the duration of their stay.

Health insurance coverage

Seven cooperative health insurance companies have been assigned by the Cooperative Health Insurance Council to provide health insurance policies to visiting expatriates. The council announced that the policy’s maximum premium will be SR 100,000.

The names of the insurance companies have been made public and can be found here. When you have an international health insurance, it is important that you make sure your insurance provider has a connection with one of the assigned local insurance providers. If they don’t, you have to take out insurance from one of the seven insurance companies.

The insurance will cover the expenses and costs for medical check-ups, diagnosis, pregnancy and delivery cases, medicines, hospitalisation, emergency dental cases, injuries due to traffic incidents, kidney dialysis in emergency cases and medical evacuation within Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. The expenses also cover preparation and repatriation costs. Only in cases of non-entry is it possible to cancel the health insurance. In certain circumstances, the payment will be returned to the beneficiary.


The new law does not apply to Haj and Umrah pilgrims, diplomats and visitors for foreign missions and international organisations or state guests. 

Around 1.6 million expat visitors, mainly business visitors and relatives of expatriates, visit Saudi Arabia annually. It’s expected this law will generate a huge financial income for the government.

It’s worth noting that health insurance is already mandatory for expatriates and their families when applying for resident permits. For more information on applying for visas when travelling or moving to Saudi Arabia, check out our Visa & Permits guide.

Image: [Craig Sunter]