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Friday, July 19, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Saudi Arabia implements new restrictions on Hajj visas

Authorities do not allow work or residency permits
The image shows pilgrims around Great Mosque. Photo via Reuters
The image shows pilgrims around Great Mosque. Photo via Reuters

Saudi Arabia has recently announced new regulations regarding the issuance of Hajj visas, specifying that the visa will only permit travel to the cities of Jeddah, Medina, and Makkah.

According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the visa will exclusively serve as the entry permit for pilgrims participating in the Hajj rituals in 2024.

The ministry emphasised that the Hajj visa is not valid for work, residency, or travel outside the designated cities.

Violations of such restrictions may result in a ban on future Hajj participation and potential deportation.

The international visitors, except from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries that require a Hajj permit, must obtain a Hajj visa.

The Hajj visa is only valid for the duration of the Hajj season, and holders are prohibited from performing Umrah or engaging in any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid, during this period.

The ministry has introduced electronic registration through the visa platform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Applicants are required to register by the 7th of Dhu Al Hijjah or until the pilgrim quota is reached.

The application process involves logging into the visa platform, selecting the appropriate services, and uploading the necessary documents.

It is advisable to apply well in advance to ensure compliance with all regulations, as processing typically takes up to three working days.

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