Saudi Arabia vow stringent implementation of Hajj visa regulation – Ministry

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The Religious Affairs Ministry stated that Saudi Arabia will implement strict regulations regarding visas, especially for the 1445 Hijriah/2024 Hajj pilgrims, to minimize misuse of non-Hajj visas.

“Our Director General of Hajj and Umrah, Hilman Latief, also stated that Saudi Arabia will only allow Hajj visas for Hajj pilgrims this year. They are being very strict,” the ministry’s Director of Hajj, Arsad Hidayat, remarked on Friday.

Hidayat revealed that Saudi Arabia has currently begun implementing the state’s mission without any violations, including in organizing the Hajj pilgrimage. All people who can perform Hajj are those who fulfill the requirements and have a Hajj visa.

Hidayat remarked that this step also aims to prevent recurrence of the case in Muzdalifah where there were delays by buses in transporting Indonesian pilgrims. At that time, based on information from the Sharia authorities, the streets were filled with illegal pilgrims and congested the route.

“They do not have a place, so they fill up the roads between Muzdalifah to Mina. It congested the traffic,” he explained.

In addition, he stated that Saudi Arabia’s authority will issue a smart card for pilgrims who have fulfilled the requirement to perform Hajj.

“This is a smart decision from the Saudi Arabia authority to sort out illegal and legal Hajj pilgrims,” he remarked.

Speaking in connection with the offer of fast-line Hajj departures, Hidayat reminded the public to remain alert and observant. He noted that visas for fast-line Hajj departures offered to the public might be seasonal worker visas or pilgrimage visas.

He emphasized that worker visas or pilgrimage visas cannot be used for Hajj pilgrimage. The only visa recognized to carry out the Hajj pilgrimage is the Hajj visa.

“Some parties are looking for profits in difficult situations. The Saudi Arabia government will be tightly monitoring the type of visa,” he stated.

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