Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa
The Umrah visa is a specific type of visa that allows Muslims from around the world to visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of performing Umrah, a pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time of the year.
Here's everything you need to know about applying for a Saudi Arabia Umrah visa.
What is the Saudi Arabia Umrah eVisa (Tourist eVisa)?
The Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa, or Tourist eVisa, permits Muslims to perform Umrah and visit sacred cities like Mecca and Medina.
Non-Muslims can use it to explore the country and visit family or friends. It offers a unique opportunity for cultural and religious immersion in Saudi Arabia.
Eligibility Criteria for Umrah Visa Application
To be eligible for a Umrah visa, the applicant must be a Muslim and must meet the following criteria:
- Must have a passport that's valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure.
- Must have proof of vaccination against meningococcal meningitis.
- Women and children should be accompanied by a Mahram (a male relative).
- Must be financially capable to undertake the journey and meet the expenses.
What is the Process of Obtaining a Umrah Visa for Saudi Arabia?
The process involves submitting an online application on the official website. The application should be completed with the correct details and accompanied by all the required documents.
Once the application has been reviewed and approved, the visa is issued and can be printed out from the website.
Here are the steps you would typically need to follow:
- Online Application : Start the Saudi Arabia visa application by filling out the required details. This would include personal information, travel details, and health information.
- Document Upload: After providing your information, you will be required to upload certain documents. These documents include a passport-size photograph. And for women and children under certain ages, proof of a Mahram (a male family member who will be travelling with them).
- Payment of Visa Fee: Once the documents are uploaded, you would then proceed to pay the visa fee. The payment can be made online through a secure payment gateway on the website. The fees may vary depending on the applicant's nationality.
- Approval and Visa Issuance :After the application is submitted and the fee is paid, the application would be reviewed. If approved, the e-visa would be sent to the applicant via email. The visa can then be printed and must be presented at the port of entry in Saudi Arabia.
What are the Requirements for Applying for a Umrah Visa?
The requirements for Saudi Arabia Umrah visa include:
- A completed application form.
- A passport-size photograph.
- A passport that's valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure.
- Proof of vaccination against meningococcal meningitis.
- Proof of accommodation and transportation in Saudi Arabia.
- Proof of Mahram for women and children.
How Long Does it Take to Process a Umrah Visa?
The processing time for a Saudi Arabia Umrah visa can vary depending on the type of service selected. Here are the typical processing times:
- Normal Processing: Under normal circumstances, the Umrah visa application process can take up to 3-6 working days. This is the standard processing time and it's recommended to apply well in advance of your planned travel date to accommodate this period.
- Rush Processing: The Rush Processing service is faster than the normal processing service. Generally, applications with rush processing are reviewed and processed within 1- 3 working days. This option is typically more expensive than normal processing.
- Super Rush Processing: Super Rush Processing is the fastest service available. Applicants who choose this option usually receive their visa approval within 24 hours or less. However, this is the most expensive processing option.
Are There Any Age Restrictions for Individuals Applying for a Umrah Visa?
There are no specific age restrictions for applying for a Umrah visa.
However, women under the age of 45 must travel with a Mahram, and children under the age of 18 must travel with a parent or guardian.
Can I Apply for a Umrah Visa Online, or Do I Need to Visit the Saudi Embassy?
You can apply for a Umrah visa online through the official website.
There's no need to visit the Saudi embassy unless specifically required for additional verification or documentation.
Can I Perform Umrah on a Tourist Visa or Other Types of Visas?
No, Umrah can only be performed on a valid Umrah visa. Performing Umrah on a tourist visa or other types of visas is not permitted.
Umrah e-Visa Validity
An Umrah e-visa is a crucial document for any Muslim intending to undertake the sacred journey of Umrah in Saudi Arabia.
This visa holds significant importance, allowing a pilgrim to enter the kingdom multiple times during its validity period.
One Year Validity
The Umrah e-visa comes with a validity period of one year from the date of issuance.
This means that the visa holder can enter and exit Saudi Arabia multiple times within this one-year period without needing to apply for a new visa each time.
Maximum Stay of 90 Days per Visit
While the visa itself is valid for one year, it allows for a maximum stay of up to 90 days per visit.
This provision makes it convenient for pilgrims who wish to perform Umrah multiple times within a year or for those who want to extend their stay to explore other parts of Saudi Arabia.
Special Condition During Ramadan
For pilgrims who plan to perform Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan, there's a special condition in place.
Regardless of whether your stay in the country is for 90 days or less, you must leave the Kingdom before the last day of Ramadan.
It's crucial to adhere to the maximum stay period of 90 days per visit. Overstaying can result in the visa being invalidated by the border authorities.
This means that you could face penalties or a ban from entering Saudi Arabia in the future. Therefore, it's essential to plan your stay carefully and abide by the visa regulations.
Are There Any Restrictions on the Number of Times I Can Perform Umrah in a Year?
There are no specific restrictions on the number of times you can perform Umrah in a year. However, each Umrah requires a separate visa.
Can I Apply for a Umrah Visa If I Have Previously Visited Saudi Arabia for Hajj?
Yes, having previously visited Saudi Arabia for Hajj does not affect your eligibility for a Umrah visa.
What Should I Do If My Umrah Visa Application Gets Rejected?
If your Umrah visa application gets rejected, the first step is to understand the reason for the rejection. This can usually be found in the rejection notice. You can then rectify any issues and reapply.
However, if the rejection reason isn't clear or if you believe your application was wrongly rejected, you can contact the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for further assistance.
Balanced Approach To International Relations
Saudi Arabia aims to balance international relations between East and West in 2023. While maintaining a strategic partnership with the US, the kingdom will pursue a more independent foreign policy by strengthening ties with China and Russia.
This shift reflects increasing trade and investment ties with Asia, particularly China, and the success of the OPEC+ alliance in shaping global energy markets. High-level ministerial meetings with China, India, and Japan indicate a focus on deepening commercial and strategic ties with major Asian countries this year.
No, the Umrah visa is exclusively for Muslims who wish to perform Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
Women aged 45 and above can apply for an Umrah visa on their own. However, women under the age of 45 must be accompanied by a Mahram (a male relative) while applying for an Umrah visa.
Overstaying on your Umrah visa can lead to fines and penalties, and it may also affect your ability to get a visa to Saudi Arabia in the future.
No, the Umrah visa is solely for the purpose of performing Umrah and does not allow the visa holder to work or reside in Saudi Arabia.
Yes, you can visit other cities in Saudi Arabia, but the primary purpose of your visit should be to perform Umrah.
Yes, proof of health insurance that covers the duration of your stay in Saudi Arabia is required when applying for an Umrah visa.
If your Umrah visa application is rejected, you should first determine the reason for the rejection, correct any mistakes, and reapply. If you need further assistance, it's advisable to contact the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah or the Saudi embassy in your home country.
No, the Umrah visa is not extendable. The maximum duration of stay is 90 days per visit, and the visa itself is valid for one year from the date of issue.
No, Hajj and Umrah are two separate pilgrimages and require different visas. You cannot perform Hajj with an Umrah visa.
You can perform Umrah multiple times within the one-year validity period of the visa. However, each visit should not exceed 90 days.