Many Umrah pilgrims are unable to travel to Makkah and Madinah during the Haj season. If you have a valid Umrah visa you can travel at another time. You can Apply for Saudi Arabia visit visa(Single visit visa) from any Saudi embassy but wait or not?
The Saudi Arabia visit visa is usually issued on a single-entry basis and is valid for 30 days. A visitor’s visa allows access to all cities and regions, including those with temporary residence status and those participating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s visa waiver program (eVisa). Passport and nationality restrictions apply.
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; The Kingdom attracts more then two million Muslim pilgrims annually who flock to Makkah, Madinah and the surrounding areas for Hajj and Umrah.
Saudi Arabia Visit Visa For Umrah
Wondering what is the difference between Umra and Haji Visa? Is there any difference, or both the terms are used interchangeably? Undertaking Haji is compulsory for all Muslims, once in a lifetime. It can be performed at Mecca and Medina (both in Saudi Arabia) only. There is a specific time period to undertake Hajj starting from the last day of Ramadan until a few days after Eid Al Adha every year. Those interested to perform Hajj may apply online, as soon as possible.
Millions of Muslims from around the world travel to Saudi Arabia each year to perform a religious pilgrimage.
Foreigners who wish to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah need a visa. This page explains the Saudi Arabia visa requirements for Umrah pilgrims.
What is Umrah in Saudi Arabia?
Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca, a holy city in Saudi Arabia. It is known as the ‘lesser pilgrimage’ as it is a shorter version of the annual Hajj gathering.
Taking part in Umrah is voluntary, it is an opportunity for Muslims to worship, seek forgiveness, and pray. This pilgrimage can be carried out at any time of year.
Hajj, on the other hand, is compulsory. The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of all Muslims who can afford it and are physically able.
Hajj is carried out at a specific time of year, between the 8th and 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic calendar).
Can I Go on Umrah with the Saudi eVisa?
Yes, pilgrims can travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah using an eVisa. The Saudi eVisa covers Umrah, excluding Hajj season.
Umrah pilgrims can complete the Saudi visa application online and receive the approved electronic visa by email. Who is eligible to apply for the eVisa?
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
With the approved eVisa, Umrah pilgrims can stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days. Visitors can use the same visa to carry out the pilgrimage and visit other parts of Saudi Arabia for tourism.
Umrah pilgrims from countries not eligible for the eVisa must apply for a Saudi Arabia pilgrim visa through an embassy or consulate.
Is the Saudi Arabia eVisa valid to perform Hajj?
Hajj cannot be carried out with the Saudi Arabia eVisa. A special Hajj visa is required to go on the major pilgrimage. Pilgrims can apply for a Hajj visa at their nearest Saudi Consulate.
Several supporting documents are required to apply for the Hajj visa.
Can you perform Umrah if you are not a Muslim?
No, Umrah and Hajj are for Muslims only. Non-Muslims cannot enter the holy city of Mecca or pass through.
Travelers who have converted to Islam may need an Islamic certificate notarized by an Islamic Center to enter Mecca and perform Umrah.
When Can Muslims Perform Umrah?
Umrah can be undertaken at any time of the year. However, travelers with an eVisa cannot perform Umrah during Hajj season.
Hajj season is from 8th to the 13th of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Muslim Lunar Calendar. A Hajj visa is required to carry out a pilgrimage at this time of the year.
Saudi Arabia Entry Requirements for Umrah
Pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah need to meet the country’s entry requirements. Foreigners must have:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of arrival
- Saudi Arabia Online Visa
Pilgrimages to Umrah have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Pilgrims must check the latest COVID-19 entry restrictions for Saudi Arabia for arranging travel.
Saudi Arabia eVisa requirements for performing Umrah
Pilgrims from several countries can now get a Saudi Arabia visa online. To apply, travelers need:
- Completed eVisa application form
- Valid passport
- Recent photograph
- Email address
- Debit or credit card
Applicants complete the application form electronically and receive the approved visa by email in 1 to 5 business days. It is the most convenient way to apply for a Saudi Arabia visa for Umrah.
Hajj pilgrims, or Muslims who wish to carry out Umrah during the Hajj season, need a special Hajj visa issued by an Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
Requirements for women to perform Umrah
Women under the age of 45 must be accompanied by their husband or another male relative (mahram). They must travel to Saudi Arabia on the same flight or be met by them on arrival.
Women aged over 45 can travel as part of a tour group without a mahram but must provide a ‘letter of no objection’ from someone who could be considered to be their mahram.
Eligibility for Foreigners to Perform Umrah during COVID-19
Normally, Muslims of all nationalities can perform Umrah, provided they meet Saudi Arabian entry requirements.
In 2021, foreign pilgrims have been allowed to partake in Umrah. To be eligible to travel to Umrah during COVID-19 restrictions, foreigners must:
- Be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine for Saudi Arabia (last dose at least 14 days before arrival)
- Register their vaccination status on Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 app
Foreign pilgrims must visit a medical center in Mecca at least 6 hours before performing Umrah. Their vaccination status will be verified, and they are issued with a bracelet that they are required to wear. All pilgrims must carry out Umrah on the day and time allocated to them.
Pilgrims coming from countries on Saudi Arabia’s red list can travel but must complete quarantine before performing Umrah.
The number of Umrah participants has been limited to 70,000 per day, this may soon change as restrictions are eased.
Security policy for Umrah pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia
All foreign Umrah pilgrims must have insurance that covers possible costs related to COVID-19. The insurance must cover the cost of treatment, emergencies, and institutional quarantine in case it is required.
Mandatory health insurance is a permanent entry requirement for foreign tourists. Electronic visa applicants take out the insurance policy when applying for their visas online.