RIYADH – Saudi Arabia is mulling to offer a new registration service to Umrah pilgrims for swift issuance of online visas.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that using the ‘bio-signature characteristics’, the pilgrims from five countries would be able to complete visa process online through the Saudi Visa Bio app. The five countries are Britain, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Kuwait.
The measure is part of a broader initiative taken by the authorities to facilitate the pilgrims who come to visit two of Islam’s holiest sites. Moreover, the ‘individual pilgrim’ service will also cover permits for Umrah and praying in the Roza Sharif, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is located. For this, Nusuk app can be used.
Saudi Arabia is taking the lead in terms of digitalizing the process and happens to be the first country to allow visa applicants to register such details using a smartphone.
The Saudi Press Agency confirmed that under the measures, pilgrims will be able to complete the process to obtain an Umrah visa electronically before they arrive in Makkah and Madinah.
The ministry also announced plans for a comprehensive insurance service for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, to cover emergency health issues, Covid-19 ailment, death and flight problems.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has opened registration for this year’s Hajj by pilgrims from within the Kingdom, with the price to start from SR3,984 for basic package.
The ministry announced that applications can now be submitted by Saudis and residents wishing to perform the Hajj in 2023 through its website as well as through the Nusuk app.
The ministry has announced a total of four packages for domestic pilgrims. The first package costs from 10,596 to 11,841; the second from 8,092 to 8,458; the third costs 13,150 and the fourth basic package mentioned above provides economical services to the pilgrims. All prices include value-added tax (VAT).