Umrah Visa Made Easier: New 90-Day Visas for GCC Residents and Others

Great news for Muslims seeking to perform Umrah! Saudi Arabia has recently announced significant changes to their visa process, making it easier for pilgrims to visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Here’s a breakdown of the key details:

New Umrah Visas with Extended Stays:

90-Day Validity: The new Umrah visas allow pilgrims to stay in Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days, providing ample time to complete their pilgrimage rituals and explore the holy cities.
Nusuk App Applications: Applications for these visas can now be conveniently submitted through the official “Nusuk” app. This user-friendly platform streamlines the application process, eliminating the need for physical visits to embassies or consulates.
Arrival Dates: Pilgrims with approved visas can begin arriving in Saudi Arabia from July 19, 2024.
Visa Costs: Who Pays What?

Unfortunately, specific visa fee details haven’t been officially announced yet. However, based on previous visa structures, we can expect some variations in costs depending on your residency status:

GCC Residents: Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) might benefit from reduced visa fees compared to non-GCC residents.
Non-GCC Residents: For those residing outside the GCC, visa fees are likely to be higher.
Saudi Residents: It’s unclear whether Saudi residents require a specific Umrah visa or if their residency permits them to perform Umrah freely.
Important Note: These are expected costs based on past visa structures. We highly recommend checking the official Saudi visa website or the Nusuk app for the most up-to-date and accurate visa fee information.

Overall, this new visa system is a welcome step towards facilitating Umrah for Muslims worldwide. The extended visa validity and convenient application process through the Nusuk app make it easier than ever to plan and undertake this sacred pilgrimage.

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Saudi Arabia Visa Portal
Nusuk App (official app for Umrah registration): Download details might be available on the official Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah website (search online for the Ministry’s website).
Remember, visa fees and regulations can change, so it’s always best to consult official sources for the latest information before applying for your Umrah visa.

Know More About Umrah visa:

  1. What is an Umrah visa?

An Umrah visa allows Muslims to travel to Saudi Arabia specifically to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.

  1. Do I need a visa for Umrah?

Yes, most nationalities require a specific Umrah visa to enter Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage purposes.

  1. What’s new with Umrah visas in 2024?

Saudi Arabia introduced new 90-day Umrah visas. Applications can now be submitted through the Nusuk app, with arrivals starting from July 19, 2024.

  1. How long is an Umrah visa valid for?

The new Umrah visa offers a 90-day validity period, allowing ample time for your pilgrimage and exploration of the holy cities.

  1. How much does an Umrah visa cost?

Official visa fee details haven’t been announced yet. However, costs likely vary depending on your residency: * GCC residents might have lower fees. * Non-GCC residents might pay higher fees. * It’s unclear if Saudi residents need a separate visa.

  1. Where can I apply for an Umrah visa?

You can now apply for the new Umrah visa electronically through the Nusuk app.

  1. What documents do I need for an Umrah visa application?

Specific requirements might vary, but generally you’ll need: * Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay. * Umrah pilgrimage confirmation. * Proof of accommodation in Saudi Arabia. * Vaccination certificates (requirements might change). * Passport photos.

  1. How long does it take to get an Umrah visa?

Processing times can vary, but applying through the Nusuk app is expected to be faster than traditional methods.

  1. Can I travel to Saudi Arabia for tourism with an Umrah visa?

No, Umrah visas are specifically for pilgrimage purposes. Tourist visas exist for visiting Saudi Arabia for other reasons.

  1. Can I extend my Umrah visa?

Extension possibilities are unclear yet. Check with Saudi visa authorities for updates.

  1. What happens if my Umrah visa gets rejected?

Reasons for rejection can vary. You might need to re-apply with corrected documents or consider alternative visa options if eligible.

  1. Is Umrah mandatory for all Muslims?

No, Umrah is a voluntary pilgrimage, but highly encouraged for those who have the physical and financial means.

  1. What’s the best time to perform Umrah?

Umrah can be performed year-round, but Hajj season can get crowded. Consider less crowded times for a more comfortable experience.

  1. Do I need a guide for Umrah?

While not mandatory, a guide can be helpful, especially for first-time pilgrims, to navigate the rituals and ensure a smooth experience.

  1. What are the essential things to pack for Umrah?

Pack comfortable clothing for prayer and weather conditions, appropriate religious garments (Ihram for men), toiletries, medication, and essentials for your stay.

  1. What vaccinations are required for Umrah?

COVID-19 vaccination is currently mandatory. Check for any additional requirements closer to your travel date.

  1. What currency is used in Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi riyal (SAR) is the official currency. Consider exchanging currency before your trip or using ATMs upon arrival.

  1. Is it safe to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah?

Saudi Arabia generally has a low crime rate. However, it’s always wise to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines.

  1. What are some helpful resources for planning my Umrah trip?
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Saudi Arabia Visa Portal:
  • Nusuk App (official app for Umrah registration): Download details might be available on the official Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah website (search online for the Ministry’s website).
  • Trusted travel agencies specializing in Umrah packages.
  1. What if I have more questions about Umrah visas or the pilgrimage itself?

Consult the official Saudi visa website, the Nusuk app for updates, or reputable travel agencies specializing in Umrah for the most current and accurate information.

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