Updated 10 June 2022
The Hajj season 2022 is just around the corner and many pilgrims around the world are looking forward to performing Hajj 2022 after it was suspended for two years due to COVID-19 restrictions. To be able to perform Hajj, all pilgrims need to obtain a Hajj Visa.
What is a Hajj visa?
Hajj Visa is one of the most important documents that Hajj pilgrims need to be allowed to perform Hajj. Hajj visas are valid for travel only in the vicinities of Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina, 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 I need a visa to perform Hajj 2022?
Yes. All pilgrims need a visa to perform Hajj. However, GCC nationals do not need a visa to travel to the KSA; they still need to obtain the official Hajj permit to enter the KSA.
What are the requirements for Hajj visa?
Here are the requirements that you need to observe to obtain a Hajj visa:
- The applicant must have a passport valid for at least six more months and acceptable both for entry to Saudi Arabia and entry to the next destination; the passport should have at least two empty visa pages adjacent to each other.
- Each applicant must submit one recent passport-size color 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. (Some travel agents require two color photos, one for the visa application and the other for the group identification card).
- The applicant must submit a completed application form filled in with black ink pen or printed; the form must be signed and stamped by the authorized travel agency.
- The Mahram should write on the application forms complete information on his spouse and children or any relative with whom he is travelling. He should also provide copies of marriage or birth certificates. Note: Women are required to travel for Hajj with a Mahram. Proof of kinship must be submitted with the application form. Any woman over the age of 45 may travel without a Mahram with an organized group, provided she submits a letter of no objection from her Mahram authorizing her to travel for Hajj with the named group. This letter should be notarized.
- The applicant must be in possession of a non-refundable roundtrip ticket with confirmed reservations.
- The applicant must submit proof of vaccination for meningitis and ACYW135. For infants and children up to 15 years of age, a vaccination report is required for polio as well as meningitis. Children over 15 years of age should present the same vaccinations requested for adults. The certificate of vaccination should have been issued not more than three years and not less than 10 days prior to entering Saudi Arabia.
- Each pilgrim should submit two certified checks or cashier checks payable to the ‘Unified Agents Office’ in Jeddah for pilgrimage services (guides, Zamzam water agents, tent accommodation in Mina and Arafat and transportation costs). These checks should include the name and passport number of the pilgrim and the date and place of issue. Each applicant must pay the appropriate fees. Pilgrims have the option to submit one check combining both fees. Children between the ages of seven and fifteen should only pay half of the amount. Children under the age of seven do not need to pay. Please check with the Saudi Consulate in your country for the correct charges.
- 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 their 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.
Who is eligible for the Hajj visa?
Anyone who is eligible for Hajj is eligible for a Hajj visa. This year, Saudi Arabia allows all pilgrims from inside and outside of Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, as long as they are fully vaccinated and not older than 65 years old.
How do I apply for the Hajj visa?
The application form is available from your nearest Saudi Consulate. However, it is advisable to appoint a licensed travel agent, who will arrange a visa, as well as your travel and accommodation and anything else you may need to perform the Hajj. The travel agent will send your application form to the Saudi Consulate. It is also advised that you apply for your Hajj visa from Mid-Shawwal until the 25th Dhual-Qa’dah of each year.
Electronic Hajj visa issuance
Recently, the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah of Saudi Arabia launched a service to cater to Hajj seekers from Europe, America, and Australia.
The online portal allows would-be pilgrims to register electronically for Hajj 2022 and offers various facilities such as package options, support services, and a multi-lingual communication centre that is available 24/7. More importantly, the online portal features the electronic issuance of Hajj visas for Hajj hopefuls residing in the aforementioned countries. You can access the portal here: motawif.com.sa
Hajj package through travel agents abolished for pilgrims from EU, US and AU
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj recently confirmed Western Muslim pilgrims intending to participate in the annual Hajj pilgrimage must now apply through a government website, thereby, abolishing the role of travel agencies to register, book and pay for Hajj packages, accommodation and permits, in the process.
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Hajj stated that pilgrims from Europe, America and Australia must apply for their space via the government’s Motawif website.
Following that new process, the Western pilgrims will be randomly selected to attend Hajj by an “automated lottery,” or online draw, after which they can book and purchase their transport and accommodation directly with the Saudi government.
Moreover, successful candidates will be directed to three separate packages, which will include flights and accommodation. However, no confirmation has been made by the Kingdom on the price range of these packages or when the results of the draw will be announced.
Furthermore, the authorities have also confirmed that the proposed Hajj packages for western pilgrims will NOT be protected by the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Atol) protection scheme for British pilgrims, covering holiday packages sold by UK travel companies.
Please note that aspiring pilgrims who have already booked their Hajj deals and packages through their respective travel agencies are recommended to seek a refund for their deposits and payments.
What is the fee for obtaining the Hajj visa?
The Hajj visa is 100% free for all pilgrims.