Saudi: Overseas Muslims holding visit visa not allowed for Haj

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Haj and Umrah on Saturday said that overseas Muslims holding a visit visa is not allowed to perform Haj rituals, local media reported.

According to Arabic daily Ajel, the Ministry of Haj and Umrah further stated that the Haj pilgrimage can be performed on a visa that is designated for Haj, or those who are the regular residents (iqama holders) in the Kingdom.

On April 9, the Kingdom announced that it will allow one million people from all over the world, to perform Haj this year.

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However, those performing Haj must be under 65 years of age and they must have at least taken two doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

Besides, the pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result performed within 72 hours of the time of departure to the Kingdom.

This step comes after the lifting of most of the restrictions that were imposed during the pandemic and the return of life in the Kingdom to what it was before 2020.

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.

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