Ministry of Hajj and Umrah: Latest news
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Saudi Arabia, works tirelessly to make the holy journeys more convenient for pilgrims. As an illustration, the authorities launched the Hajj visa app, as confirmed by the Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq Al Rabiah, in a press conference. Within 24 hours of submitting of Umrah visa application form, you can get your Umrah visa or Hajj visa. Once you get your e-visa, you can also arrange accommodation and transportation. Another good news for pilgrims is that this visa is valid for three months instead of one. Also, the pilgrims can travel to any Saudi Arabian city while their e-visa is valid.
The Hajj visa app is a joint effort of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Tourism, the Presidency of State Security, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the National Cybersecurity Authority, and the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority. Muslims from all over the world welcomed this development wholeheartedly. Integration of technology at this level not only adds to convenience and efficiency but also ensures the safety of the pilgrims and their finance.
How to apply for an Umrah visa online?
The new e-Umrah visa app has simplified the visa application and processing for both applicants and Saudi Arabian authorities. It eliminates the need to stand in long queues at embassies or consulates, banks, and many other places to process the visa. With just a click, you can apply for the visa from your home or office.
Following is the process of applying for the Umrah visa.
- Register through an email and phone number.
- Fill out the Umrah visa application form.
- Upload the scanned documents.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Receive your visa within 24 hours of application acceptance.
Once you reach Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, download, and register on the nationally approved apps, namely the Tawakkalna app and the Etmarna app. These apps contain all your important records, simplifying your access to places such as hotels, restaurants, mosques, and others.
Which countries can benefit from the Hajj visa app?
Nationals of Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and the UAE can travel to Saudi Arabia visa-free. However, nationals of all other countries must obtain a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia, be it for Hajj, Umrah, or leisurely travel.
Nationals from the UK, USA, China, Japan, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Brunei, Bulgaria, and Romania can apply through e-visa for Hajj and Umrah. Also, Iceland, Malta, Ireland, Norway, Andorra, Croatia, Cypress, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden can benefit from the Hajj visa app.
New Umrah visa rules 2022: –
New Umrah visa rules make people happy all around as the government lifts most of the covid traveling restrictions and regulations. No more is a rapid covid test a requirement as you land in KSA. There is no need to quarantine as well. Apart from the two holy mosques, there is no need to maintain social distancing or wear masks.
When it comes to visa processing fees, KSA charges different fees to various countries. The applicant can check the Hajj visa app to know how much he will have to pay as a visa fee.
Checklist for Umrah visa online: –
The best thing about the e-visa facility is that it eliminates the need for a middleman to arrange the tour. The applicant can apply for the visa via the app. However, you need to have all your documentation work complete for a successful application. Referring to the following list, you can make an Umrah visa check to make sure you have got everything in order.
- A valid passport with expiry at least 6 months away
- An online payment card such as a debit or credit card
- An email address
- A passport-size photo on white background
- A return ticket
- Meningitis vaccination certificate
- For converted Muslim applicants having non-Muslim names, a certificate from an Islamic Center or mosque confirming their faith in Islam
As Islam continues to spread, KSA receives increasing applications every year. The Hajj visa app is a commendable effort to cater to this increasing number of applicants. However, some applicants who had already made their travel arrangements and paid the travel agents in full sum for the holy period such as Hajj or Umrah in Ramadan, have been taken aback by the inconvenience caused by this endeavor. According to new rules, they have to reapply through the app which some people faced trouble with. As with any other technological change, it will take some time for people to accept and adjust to the new norm.