Updated December 2023
The Hajj season 2024 is coming, and many pilgrims around the world are looking forward to performing Hajj 2024 after the success of Hajj last year. To be able to perform Hajj, all pilgrims need to obtain a Hajj visa, including residents of the UAE. Here, we have gathered all the information on how you can obtain your Hajj visa.
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Hajj news 2024
In a document released by the Saudi Ministry of Health outlining the health regulations and recommendations for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, the COVID-19 vaccination has been removed from being a mandatory requirement. Owing to the decrease in cases and severity of the virus in recent times, the vaccine is now in the “recommended” category.
Please refer to our news piece on the topic for further details.
What is a Hajj visa?
The Hajj visa is one of the most important documents that Hajj pilgrims need to be allowed to perform the Hajj. Hajj visas are valid for travel only in the vicinities of Jeddah, Makkah, and Madinah and for travel between these cities. These visas are not valid for work or residency. Unapproved travel outside these areas may result in immigration violations and penalties.
Do pilgrims from UAE need a visa to perform Hajj?
UAE nationals do not need to obtain a visa to enter Saudi Arabia for Hajj. They only need to obtain a Hajj permit before they perform the Hajj. However, expatriates who live in UAE do need to obtain a Hajj visa to perform the Hajj from UAE.
What are the requirements for a Hajj visa?
Other than possessing a non-refundable roundtrip ticket with confirmed reservations, there are various requirements that applicants are required to comply with to obtain a Hajj visa.
Applicants must have a passport with the following criteria:
- valid for at least six more months
- acceptable for entry to Saudi Arabia and the next destination
- have at least two empty visa pages adjacent to each other
Each applicant must submit one recent passport-size photograph with these specifications:
- coloured photograph with a white background
- the photograph must be a full-face view in which the visa applicant is facing the camera directly
- side or angled views are NOT accepted
Please note that some travel agents may require two coloured photos, one for the visa application and the other for the group identification card.
It is also mandatory for applicants to submit a completed application form. The form must be:
- filled in with black ink pen or printed
- signed and stamped by the authorized travel agency
The Saudi authorities have set forth specific guidelines for Hajj pilgrims regarding the Mahram:
- The Mahram must provide complete information on his spouse and children or any relative travelling with him.
- He must also submit copies of marriage or birth certificates and proof of kinship along with the application form.
- Women are required to travel for Hajj with a Mahram.
- Women over the age of 45 may travel without a Mahram in an organized group if they present a notarized letter of no objection from their Mahram, authorizing them to travel for Hajj with the named group.
Unlike the Hajj 2023 pilgrimage, the Saudi Ministry of Health has changed the requirement for COVID-19 vaccines for Hajj 2024. The COVID-19 vaccine is no longer mandatory – it is now in the “recommended” category. However, pilgrims will need to be vaccinated against yellow fever, meningitis, polio, and seasonal influenza. Please check our article below for more information:
Here are the payment requirements that applicants need to observe in regard to pilgrimage services:
- Each applicant must pay appropriate fees by submitting two certified or cashier’s checks payable to the ‘Unified Agents Office’ in Jeddah for pilgrimage services.
- Checks should include the pilgrim’s name, passport number, date, and place of issue.
- Pilgrims can submit one check for both fees.
- Children between the ages of 7 and 15 pay half the amount, and those under 7 are exempted from payment.
- For the correct charges, consult the Saudi Consulate in your country.
- Applicants who are not nationals of the country they are applying from should submit documented proof of legal residence status. If the applicant has converted to Islam, an Islamic certificate must be presented, which must be notarized by an Islamic Center.
- Passport authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reserve the right to return (at his or her own expense) any pilgrim who has provided wrong or false information about their residence.
- No applicant under the legal age of eighteen will be granted a Hajj visa if not accompanied by his family.
How do I apply for the Hajj visa?
After the expat pilgrim seekers have obtained the Hajj permit, they can get a Hajj visa from Dubai to go on the pilgrimage. The Hajj visa for expats only allows entry to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; it is not valid for any other city in Saudi Arabia. The Hajj visa is usually valid until the 15th of Muharram.
The application form is available from their nearest Saudi Consulate. However, it is strongly advisable to appoint a licensed travel agent, who will arrange a visa, as well as their travel and accommodation and anything else they may need to perform the Hajj.
The travel agent will send their application form to the Saudi Consulate. It is also advised that they apply for their Hajj visa from Mid-Shawwal until the 25th Dhual-Qa’dah of each year.
Approved Hajj travel agents in UAE
Here are some of the government-approved Hajj tour operators in Dubai you can contact for your Hajj visa:
- Regal Tours Dubai: +971-50-8474-794 | +971 4 2635 888
- Al Reayah Hajj & Umrah Dubai: +971-55-971-1146 | +971-4 -252-3130
- Al Hamar Hajj & Umrah Services Dubai: +971-4-396-7711
- Abdullah Bin Karam Hajj & Umrah Travels: +971-4-228-8575
Hajj visa fee
The Hajj visa is 100% free for all pilgrims. Note that a Hajj visa is typically made available via travel agents and you may be expected to pay other fees.