JEDDAH — The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has notified Umrah companies and establishments that electronic Umrah visas will be issued during the current season. The e-visa issuance will be made within the framework of a set of approved regulations, including advance payment of Umrah visa fee using an electronic payment system before the pilgrims’ arrival, Al-Eqtisadiah reported.
The ministry stressed that the issuance of visa will be done through electronic route for Umrah, involving foreign agents and their respective Saudi Umrah service providers, and the adoption of a program that includes a package of services and confirmed return tickets.
According to the regulations, the procedures include registering the data of Umrah pilgrims by the respective foreign agents, filling up the online application form along with documents and send to the concerned Umrah company for facilitating the procedures. After issuance of the reference number of the application, it will be uploaded in the online portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to complete the issuance of the visa, the ministry said while noting that the concerned Umrah service providers and their foreign agents shall scrutinize the registered data, and enter the passport data using the machine reader. “The foreign agent and the Umrah firm will be held accountable in case of any discrepancies in the passport data, and penalties, including cancellation of the license, will be taken against the violators,” the ministry said.
Ahmed Bafaqih, an expert on economic aspects of Haj and Umrah, said that the move to issue electronic Umrah visa is in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to facilitate the performance of Umrah for Muslims from all around the world. “The procedures governing the issuance of visas place Umrah companies and establishments on a better and faster place in dealing with the rapid changes in the use of technology, overcome all obstacles, facilitate the issuance of visas and ease the performance of the Umrah pilgrimage,” he said.
Saudi Gazette report
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