Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Thursday launched an electronic visa processing app for individual planning to perform Umrah from outside the country.
Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Haj and Umrah, during a press conference on Thursday in Jordan announced, that the visit visa for Umrah will be issued now within 24 hours of submitting the application electronically.
Al-Rabiah said the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to facilitate the reception of Umrah pilgrims in larger numbers.
During his speech, the Saudi minister stressed that those who wish to obtain an Umrah visa can apply electronically, as they can obtain it directly, and choose all the details electronically, such as housing, transportation, and others when heading to Makkah Al-Mukarramah.
He further said that the validity of the Umrah visa has been extended from one to three months, adding that pilgrims visiting the kingdom to perform Umrah can visit other Saudi cities during their stay without any restrictions.
Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah has confirmed that this year’s Haj season will accommodate one million pilgrims while he works to ensure the health of pilgrims.
The Kingdom is keen to protect pilgrims from COVID-19 and ensure the best quality of services.
“We are aware that there are many Haj applications this year, but the safety of pilgrims is our priority,” he added.
On April 9, 2022, the ministry announced that one million international and domestic pilgrims will be given permission to perform Haj this year.
Pilgrims must be under 65 years old and have received COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health.
What is Haj?
Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
2020 witnessed an exceptional season for Haj, and in consideration of the “COVID-19” pandemic. The number of pilgrims at that time was limited to about 10,000 from inside Saudi Arabia only, compared to about 2.5 million pilgrims in 2019 from all parts of the world.
In 2021, 58,745 domestic pilgrims performed Haj to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Arabia had announced the successful conclusion of Haj season 2021, free from the COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.