Updated May 2023
The Umrah is a minor and non-compulsory pilgrimage that any able-bodied Muslim with the financial means to do so may undertake in order to gain the blessings and favour of the Almighty Allah.
Pilgrims looking to fulfil this religious calling must first obtain an Umrah permit as one of the prerequisites for entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Here’s all you need to know about the Umrah permit: the latest news, rules, requirements, issuance, and more.
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Umrah permit 2023 news
To expedite services for the rites, Saudi Arabia has announced that permits for undertaking Umrah, or minor pilgrimage, during the next Islamic holy month of Ramadan can be provided via an electronic platform.
Muslims who intend to perform Umrah during Ramadan are urged by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to submit applications using the Nusuk portal. They can use the website to electronically book associated travel arrangements and receive the appropriate visas and permits in order to perform Umrah or visit the holy sites.
According to the latest announcement, the government of Saudi Arabia has allowed religious tourists to arrive and depart on scheduled flights through any international airport in the kingdom.
As a result of the application of this newly added policy, all airlines, as well as private aviation operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, must permit pilgrims wishing to conduct Umrah to arrive and depart on scheduled flights via any of the kingdom’s international airports.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has made an announcement stating that the final day for issuing permits for performing Umrah this season is on the 15th of Dhul Qadah, which corresponds to June 4. This decision has been made in order to make necessary arrangements for the arrival of Hajj pilgrims, who are scheduled to start arriving in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
The ministry emphasized that the Umrah visa does not grant permission for pilgrims to perform Hajj. All pilgrims holding Umrah visas must depart by the 20th of Dhul Qadah, which corresponds to June 18.
What is the Umrah permit?
To put it simply, the Umrah permit is an electronic document issued by the Nusuk app enabling holders to enter the Grand Mosque, pray at the Noble Rawdah, and essentially perform Umrah.
Issuance of the Umrah permit is subject to certain requirements and is contingent on the type of Umrah visa held by individual pilgrims.
Who needs to submit an Umrah permit application?
Essentially, everyone looking to perform the minor pilgrimage must apply for an Umrah permit.
Umrah permit for Saudi residents
Saudi residents and citizens are not exempted from the Umrah permit requirement. They, too, must obtain the Umrah permit to be able to perform Umrah.
In order for the Umrah permit to be issued to residents and citizens, their data must already be updated on the Absher application as well as having had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine approved in Saudi Arabia.
Umrah permit for visitors/visit visa holders
Umrah seekers holding Umrah/tourism/work visas must have already registered their arrival and vaccination credentials on the Muqeem platform at least 72 hours prior to arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Following their arrival in Saudi Arabia, visitors holding the aforementioned visas must register on the Nusuk app to secure their Umrah permit.
Umrah permit app: Nusuk App
The app that is linked to the issuance of the Umrah permit is the Nusuk App.
The following are the main features of the Nusuk app:
- allows for the electronic issue of Umrah visas
- promotes international pilgrims’ arrival, provides transportation and travel services and provides information about cultural events
- allowing travellers to visit the Prophet’s Mosque and reserving Umrah permits
- Umrah pilgrims can reserve their packages
- pilgrims with a digital guide with detailed instructions available in various languages
- reserve hotels and flights
To learn more about the steps required to obtain your Umrah permit through the Nusuk app, please refer to our dedicated article below.
Umrah permit rules
Although Saudi Arabia has largely lifted the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Umrah pilgrims, it is highly recommended that each pilgrim confirm with their Umrah operator/agency for the latest vaccination requirements pertaining to Umrah. This is to ensure a smooth and hassle-free Umrah journey, as well as to protect the health and safety of all individuals involved.
Please note that the Umrah permit will be immediately cancelled if:
- the individual is infected with COVID-19
- the individual had been in contact with an infected person
- the visa holder does not enter the KSA 6 hours before the Umrah booking date.