Saudi Arabia Suspends Umrah Visa Issuance: Here’s Why

Saudi Arabia Suspends Umrah Visa Issuance_ Here’s Why

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Saudi Arabia Suspends Umrah Visa Issuance: Here’s Why

Saudi Arabia Suspends Umrah Visa Issuance_ Here’s Why

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has announced a temporary suspension of Umrah visa issuance as the country prepares for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed the suspension via the social media platform X on Friday. This suspension will be in effect from May 23 until June 21.

In addition, the ministry has stated that all categories of tourist visa holders will be restricted from entering Makkah during this period to ensure a smooth experience for Hajj pilgrims arriving in the kingdom.

Only individuals holding Hajj visas will be permitted to perform Hajj, with the government warning of strict penalties for violators.

To facilitate Umrah pilgrims, Saudi Arabia has introduced the Nusuk application, which allows users to easily obtain permits to visit the Two Holy Mosques.

The Ministry of Interior has recently implemented stringent measures against anyone—whether Saudi citizens, expatriates, or visitors—attempting to enter Makkah without a valid Hajj permit. Offenders caught between Dhul Qada 25 and Dhul Hijjah 14th will face fines of SR10,000. These penalties apply to various locations, including the holy city of Makkah, the Central Haram Area, and key pilgrimage sites such as Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah.

The ministry has emphasized its commitment to enforcing these regulations, adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards non-compliance. Repeat offenders could face fines up to SR100,000, deportation for expatriates, and bans on re-entry.

Saudi Arabia is expecting over 2 million pilgrims from around the world for Hajj, and has made extensive arrangements to accommodate them.

To help authorities identify illegal pilgrims, the government has introduced special tags for those heading to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

In preparation for the Hajj season, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has launched the Nusuk Card, which contains comprehensive data on each pilgrim. There is also a digital version of the card available on the Saudi apps Nusuk and Tawakklana. Pilgrims must display the card to access holy sites and move around the kingdom.

Saudi authorities have defined the Nusuk Card as an official printed card designed to distinguish legal pilgrims at holy sites from others.

For travelers planning to visit Saudi Arabia, these measures are important to be aware of to ensure compliance and avoid any complications during this sacred period.

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