Pilgrim Visas for Saudi Arabia
This webpage provides comprehensive information on Saudi eVisa specifically tailored for pilgrims. It includes details about the available visas for Hajj and Umrah, as well as step-by-step instructions on the application process. Additionally, it offers valuable insights on the ideal time to embark on these sacred journeys.
Every year, Saudi Arabia attracts millions of pilgrims from around the world. In 2019 alone, 2.5 million Muslims visited Mecca as part of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Additionally, a significant number of individuals travel to the Kingdom throughout the year to complete their Umrah journey.
To enhance the experience of religious and leisure tourism, Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a convenient electronic visa system known as the Saudi Arabia eVisa. This innovative visa can be obtained online within minutes from any location worldwide.
Saudi Visa Online is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit Saudi Arabia for a period of time upto 30 days for travel or business purposes. International visitors must have a Saudi e-Visa to be able to visit Saudi Arabia . Foreign citizens can apply for an Saudi e-Visa Application in a matter of minutes. Saudi Visa Application process is automated, simple, and completely online.
What Is a Religious Visitor Visa?
A religious visitor visa is a type of visa intended for individuals undertaking spiritual journeys to holy sites. Many religions, such as Islam, emphasize the significance of visiting sacred places as an integral aspect of one's spiritual path. In modern times, these journeys often involve crossing international borders, necessitating the acquisition of appropriate travel and entry permits and hence the need of Saudi Arabia eVisa.
Saudi e-Visa is a required travel authorization for travelers visiting Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes. This online process for Electronic Travel Authorisation for Saudi Arabia was implemented from 2019 by Saudi Government, with the goal of enabling any of the future eligible travelers to apply for an Electronic Visa to Saudi Arabia. Learn more at Saudi Visa Online.
Importance of Saudi Arabia eVisa for Piligrim Purpose
Saudi Arabia, renowned for housing significant religious sites like Mecca and Medina, holds immense importance for Muslims worldwide. Mecca is considered the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, while Medina is his final resting place. As per Islamic teachings, it is obligatory for Muslims with the means to undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj, at least once in their lifetime.
To facilitate this religious journey and enable visits to Mecca and Medina, foreign Muslims must obtain a Saudi Arabia eVisa. Currently, only citizens of five Gulf countries are granted visa-free entry:
- United Arab Emirates
However, considering Islam is the world's second-largest religion, with a following of over 1.9 billion people, Muslims from 51 countries constitute most of the population. Consequently, there is a huge need for pilgrim visas to Saudi Arabia, as adherents strive to fulfil their religious obligations.
Citizens of 51 countries are eligible for Saudi Visa. The Saudi Visa eligbility must be met to obtain the visa to travel to Saudi Arabia. A valid passport is required for entry into Saudi Arabia. Learn more at Eligible Countries for Online Saudi Visa.
Types of Saudi Arabia eVisa for Piligrim Purpose
Saudi Arabia offers various types of pilgrim visas to accommodate different Islamic pilgrimages. These visas are designed to align with each pilgrimage's specific requirements and customs. The following are the main types of pilgrim visas available:
Hajj Visa for Mecca
The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is a religious and pious obligation for all able-bodied adult Muslims who desire to be happy at least once in their lifetimes. It is regarded as one of Islam's Five Pillars. The Hajj takes place on designated dates and attracts a massive influx of pilgrims, making it the largest human gathering in the world.
A Hajj visa is required for all foreigners intending to travel to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of performing the Hajj. Specific requirements apply to this visa, such as applying within specified dates and contracting travel and pilgrimage services. Supporting documents, including a certificate from a mosque or Islamic center verifying the traveler's religion, a meningitis vaccination certificate, a recent photograph, and proof of return or onward travel, are typically necessary.
Umrah refers to the fact that at any time of the year, one can make the journey to Mecca and is not obligatory like the Hajj. It is a voluntary act of worship highly regarded by Muslims. The Umrah visa allows individuals to visit Mecca and perform the Umrah rituals. The requirements for obtaining an Umrah visa may vary, but generally include providing a certificate of religion from a mosque or Islamic center, a valid passport, and proof of travel arrangements.
The Hajj visa and the Umrah visa are two distinct forms of Saudi Arabian visas that are offered for religious travel, in addition to the new electronic visa for visitors. Yet to make the Umrah pilgrimage easier, the new tourist eVisa can also be employed. Learn more at Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa.
Umrah Visa for Saudi Arabia
The Umrah pilgrimage is also known as a religious trek known as the "lesser pilgrimage," which can be undertaken at any time throughout the year. While it shares some rituals with the Hajj pilgrimage, the Umrah can be completed within a few hours, offering a more flexible and condensed spiritual experience.
It's important to note that performing the Umrah does not exempt individuals from the obligation of the Hajj pilgrimage.Those who have completed the Umrah and possess the necessary health and financial means are still required to fulfil their Hajj duty.
When it comes to get an approved visa for the Umrah, travellers have a couple of options:
- Joint Hajj-Umrah Visa: This visa allows individuals to perform Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages during specific dates. However, it comes with stricter requirements, as outlined earlier.
- Electronic Umrah Visa: This option offers more flexibility and ease of obtaining a visa for performing the Umrah pilgrimage outside of the Hajj season. The electronic visa, known as the eVisa, can be obtained online and requires a copy of the traveller’s passport, a valid email address, completion of the online application form, and payment of the application fee.
Travellers can skip lengthy lines at the border by applying for a Saudi Arabia eVisa before travel. A visa on arrival (VOA) is available to nationals of certain nations in Saudi Arabia. There are many options for international tourists to Saudi Arabia to receive travel authorisation. Learn more at Saudi Arabia Visa On Arrival.
Differences between Umrah and Hajj Visas for Saudi Arabia
When deciding between an Umrah eVisa and a traditional Hajj visa, it is important for travellers to consider the following key differences:
Validity and Usage:
- Hajj Visa: The Hajj visa is specifically designated for the Hajj pilgrimage and can only be used during the established days of Hajj. It is required for those intending to perform the Hajj ritual on the designated dates.
- Umrah eVisa: The Umrah eVisa, on the other hand, is valid for performing the Umrah pilgrimage and can be used throughout the year, excluding the specific dates of Hajj. It offers flexibility in terms of when the pilgrimage can be undertaken and allows for visits outside of the Hajj season.
- Hajj Visa: The Hajj visa is exclusively intended for performing the Hajj pilgrimage, a religious obligation for Muslims.
- Umrah eVisa: The Umrah eVisa serves a dual purpose. It can be utilized for performing the Umrah pilgrimage and general tourism purposes within Saudi Arabia.
- Hajj Visa: Obtaining a Hajj visa requires going through a licensed travel agent who specializes in Hajj services. The application process for a Hajj visa is typically more complex, involving specific requirements and documentation.
- Umrah eVisa: The Umrah eVisa can be conveniently obtained online within minutes. Eligible individuals can independently submit their applications through the designated online platform, making it simpler and more accessible.
With the advent of the online Saudi Arabia visa, travel to Saudi Arabia is set to become significantly simpler. Before visiting Saudi Arabia, tourists are urged to familiarize themselves with the local way of life and learn about any potential gaffes that might land them in hot water. Learn more at Saudi Arabia Laws for Tourists.
Important Information for International Visitors on Saudi Pilgrimages
Hajj and Umrah are significant religious pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia, and it is essential for international visitors to be aware of the following information:
Hajj Dates and Visa Application:
The Hajj pilgrimage takes place between the eighth and thirteenth of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Only pilgrimages performed during these dates can be considered Hajj.
Those intending to undertake the Hajj must apply for their Hajj visa each year between Mid-Shawwal and the 25th Dhu-al-Qa’dah. It is important to note that the dates for applying for the Hajj visa are subject to change as per the Islamic calendar.
Umrah and Remaining in Saudi Arabia:
Pilgrimages performed outside the designated Hajj dates are considered Umrah, a voluntary act of worship. It is crucial to understand that individuals on Umrah visas cannot remain in Saudi Arabia after the end of the Hajj season.
The Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar, is based on lunar cycles. As a result, the specific dates mentioned above vary each year on the standard Gregorian calendar. It is advisable to refer to the Islamic calendar or consult reliable sources to determine the accurate dates for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
For further details regarding Hajj visa requirements and application dates, contacting the nearest Saudi consulate or embassy is recommended. Individuals wishing to apply for an Umrah visa online have the flexibility to do so at any time.
Being well-informed about the timelines, visa procedures, and distinctions between Hajj and Umrah will help international visitors plan their pilgrimage effectively and ensure a smooth and fulfilling experience in Saudi Arabia.
Using the website of the Online Saudi Arabia, you may rapidly apply for a Saudi Arabia e-Visa. The procedure is easy and uncomplicated. You may finish the Saudi Arabia e-visa application in only 5 minutes. Go to the website, click "Apply Online," and adhere to the instructions. Learn more at Complete Guide to Saudi Arabia e-Visa.
Check your eligibility for Online Saudi Visa and apply for Online Saudi Visa 72 hours in advance of your flight. British citizens, US citizens, Australian citizens, French citizens, Spanish Citizens, Dutch Citizens and Italian citizens can apply online for Online Saudi Visa. Should you need any help or require any clarifications you should contact our Saudi Visa Help Desk for support and guidance.