Recently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) launched a new electronic visa app for pilgrims planning to perform Umrah. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Haj and Umrah, announced the launch of the e-Umrah visa app during a press conference on Thursday.
According to Al Rabiah, the visa would be given within 24 hours after completing the application. The new e-Visa app will also help pilgrims find accommodation and arrange transportation.
He also stated that the validity of the Umrah visa has been extended from one to three months and that pilgrims visiting the Kingdom to perform Umrah are free to visit other Saudi cities during their stay.
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Saudi Arabia to Allow One Million Hajj Pilgrims
“The safety of pilgrims is our priority, and we are eager on offering the finest services,” Al Rabiah said of the Kingdom’s decision to allow one million pilgrims to do Haj this year.
The Saudi government declared in April 2022 that one million international and domestic pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj this year.
Health Requirements For Hajj Pilgrims
Pilgrims must be under the age of 65 and have had COVID-19 immunizations that have been approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health and they also need to follow the below-mentioned health requirements set by the authorities;
- Passengers must be under the age of 65
- Completed vaccination with basic doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia.
- All passengers must submit a negative PCR test for COVID-19 for a sample that was taken within 72 hours prior to departure to the Kingdom.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, 60,000 pilgrims performed Haj rituals last year.
It is worth noting that the ‘Umrah’ is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Ḥajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.