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Updated November 2022

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 visa as one of the prerequisites for entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Here’s all you need to know about the Umrah visa; its requirements, associated costs, and how to apply for one.

What is the Umrah visa?

An Umrah visa is an official document designed to facilitate Muslims wishing to embark to Makkah on a minor pilgrimage known as the Umrah. 

On their journey, pilgrims visit the Masjid al Haram and must partake in several rituals such as the Tawaf (circling) around the Ka’bah, the Sa’i (walking) between the hills of As-Safa and Al-Marwa, and the cutting or shaving of one’s hair.

Do I need a visa to perform Umrah?

Unless you are a citizen of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE, you would first need to secure an Umrah visa or a visit visa in order to embark on the minor pilgrimage. Citizens from said countries may use their national ID Cards to enter Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now accepting Umrah visa applications following a successful Hajj season. Umrah seekers from all over the world may now apply for the pilgrimage. As of now, the Umrah visa has been extended from one month to three months. 

Can I perform the Umrah on a tourist visa?

Yes, you can. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will now allow visitors holding Saudi tourist visas to perform Umrah. Henceforth, citizens of 49 countries, eligible to apply for the Saudi electronic visa, can now perform Umrah in the Kingdom by securing their visas online at the Visit Saudi Arabia website, or immediately upon arrival at airports.

The system allows eligible applicants to obtain a tourist visa, valid for a period of 12 months, upon arrival at one of the Saudi airports without the need for prior application, and the visa holders will be allowed to visit the cities and regions all over the Kingdom.

Countries eligible for the Saudi tourist visa are the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Brunei, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Australia and New Zealand.

Alternatively, travellers who wish to perform Umrah from nations other than those currently qualified should apply for visas at the Kingdom’s embassies in their respective countries.

Furthermore, family visit visa holders from different nationalities can also perform Umrah by securing their Umrah permit via the Nusuk app through their relatives in the Kingdom during their visit.

What are the types of Umrah visas available?

There are two kinds of Umrah visas that may be available to you depending on your country of origin, namely the Umrah visa and the Saudi e-visa. The Umrah visa is valid for 90 days while the Saudi e-visa is valid for one year.

Requirements for Umrah visa

The required documents for the Umrah visa are as follows:

  • A completed original Umrah visa application form. This form can be obtained by sending a large, self-addressed envelope to your nearest Saudi consulate. However, it is advisable to enlist the help of a certified travel agent to ensure the process goes smoothly
  • One recent passport size colour photograph with a white background. The entirety of the applicant’s face must be wholly visible visa and directly facing the camera. Side or angled views will not be accepted
  • A passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date of the application 
  • A confirmed and non-refundable airline ticket. Departure from Saudi Arabia must be within two weeks from the date of entry
  • A valid residency permit must be submitted if the applicant is not a national of the country he/she is applying from
  • A vaccination certificate against Meningococcal Meningitis should be attached. The certificate of vaccination must have been issued at least 10 days prior to entry while not exceeding three years. The vaccination certificate must be carried by the pilgrim into Saudi Arabia. Note: COVID-19 vaccination certificate is required to enter Saudi Arabia, but it is not one of the requirements of the Umrah visa

Requirements for Umrah e-visa

The Umrah e-visa is actually the Saudi e-visa which covers tourism-related activities and Umrah (excluding Hajj season). The requirements for an Umrah e-visa are as follows:

  • A completed Umrah visa application form which can be filled out online
  • A valid passport
  • A recent passport photo
  • A valid email address
  • A debit or credit card

Please note that the Umrah e-visa is only applicable to pilgrims residing in specified countries.

Who is eligible for the Umrah visa?

  • Muslims wishing to perform the pilgrimage. Non-Muslims will not be able to apply for the visa. Please note that non-Muslims will not be granted entry into the cities of Makkah and Madinah.
    • For those whose names do not reflect their Islamic belief, they must attach a certificate issued by a mosque or an Islamic centre stating that the applicant is indeed a Muslim
  • As of now, women can apply for an Umrah visa even if they wish to perform the pilgrim without their mahram. Recently, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah allowed women aged 18 to 65 to perform Umrah without a male guardian or “mahram”, but on the condition that they are a part of a group. They are also required to be vaccinated for one dose (partially vaccinated) and free of any diseases. 

How do I apply for the Umrah visa?

The Saudi authorities have launched an electronic service for Umrah seekers to obtain their Umrah visa within 24 hours. Umrah seekers residing in countries all over the world may now directly apply through the Maqam platform.  

After receiving the reference number for the application, applicants can log in to the national visa platform to complete and print their visas.

The validity of the Umrah visa has also been extended from one month to three months. This new arrangement also allows pilgrims to move about freely within Saudi Arabia without any restraints.

Alternatively, Umrah seekers may also enlist the assistance of an approved travel agent in their respective countries to obtain an Umrah visa.

Umrah visa fees 2022

The Umrah visa is free of charge but there may be fees associated with processing and other Umrah-related services. It’s been reported that these fees may amount to somewhere between USD 200 to 300.

As for the Saudi e-visa, the fees are as follows:

  • the tourist e-visa costs SAR 535 (USD 142) and is inclusive of full health insurance during your stay
  • the cost for the tourist visa on arrival is SAR 480 (USD 127)

Rules to observe during Umrah 

According to the latest update, the Hajj and Umrah Ministry established a rule where Umrah pilgrims are given a three-hour permit to complete their pilgrimage.

Pilgrims are also required to leave the mosque following the expiry of their entry permits as well as to avoid bringing luggage into the site during entry for the rituals.

Children from the age of seven will be permitted to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

For more details and information regarding Umrah, you can check out our Umrah 2022 article below: 

Umrah 2022: Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Pilgrimage

 

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