Umrah – An Islamic Pilgrimage
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to MAKKAH, it is a place that is quite reputable and respectful to all Muslims. Umrah is performed by the Muslims which can be initiated at any time of the year, Hajj or Umrah are the acts of worship for Muslims as it renews their sense of objectivity in the world.
If you’re not a resident of Saudi Arabia, you will need to apply for an Umrah visa, it is a legal document which allows you to travel and gives you permission to enter in their territory of Saudi Arabia for the Umrah purposes. Read more: Saudi King Salman & Crown Prince (MBS) Issue Orders to Cancel Second time Umrah Visa Fee
New Procedure & Conditions on Umrah Pilgrims for Application of Umrah Visa from USA
1). New Umrah Visa fee
Before the Umrah visa that was used to be paid to the Umrah travel agency amounted to SR.200/-, however, during the current year the new Umrah visa fee will be SR.500/- per Umrah application.
2). Now Umrah Pilgrims will travel in the Group of 20 members
Before it was possible for Umrah pilgrims to travel alone, with their family and friends, however, due to introduction of new procedure and approved law, the Umrah Pilgrims will no more be able to travel alone and now according to the new law they should be a group of at least 20 Umrah pilgrims and should not exceed 45 Umrah pilgrims at any particular point of time, in order to get the Umrah visa.
3). No more Own booking of Hotels by Umrah Pilgrims
Before the Umrah Pilgrims were able to manage their own booking, while applying the Umrah visa from Pakistan they used to get the similar hotel packages deal in Saudi Arabia and upon reaching Saudi Arabia they used find another cheap hotel bookings.
Now according to the new E-Umrah visa policy, the Umrah Pilgrims are no more allowed to manage their own hotel bookings of their own choice, rather they are being required according to the new law Umrah procedure to select the hotel uploaded and available in the E-Umrah portal.
The complete list of the hotels along with their prices have been uploaded on the portal and the Umrah pilgrims are now required to choose their hotel bookings from this list.
4). New Fees to be paid on account of Transportation expenses
According to the new law approved by the Saudi Cabinet, No Umrah pilgrims can travel from Jeddah to Makkah and Makkah to Madinah without the group members. Before the Umrah pilgrims used to travel in the local transport and in any other privately hired Taxi other.
Now, the group of at least 20 members traveling between Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah applying for the Umrah visa have to share the traveling cost. If the group members are less than 20, the remaining numbers of Umrah pilgrims have to bear the cost of remaining members making it 20.
The traveling cost from Jeddah to Makkah and Makkah to Mahinah is added into the Umrah visa fees.
Documents Required to Process Umrah Visa from the USA
- Stamped and signed Umrah Visa application.
- The original passport must be valid for at least six(6) months.
- Copy of birth certificate for children (if any). Read more: Procedure for Applying and Issuance of New E-Umrah Visa
- 2 passport size photographs with white background only.
- Original green card for non-US citizens.
- Copy of the marriage certificate for the couples.
- Declaration of the vaccination against “MENINGITIS” & “ACYW135” by a certified doctor.
- A woman traveling alone must be at least 45 years old.
- Pilgrims with non-Islamic names must have a certificate/letter from the Islamic Center to prove their conversion to Islam.
- Confirmed Return flight ticket. Read more: Umrah, Hajj and Saudi Visit Visa Fee to be Fixed at SR.300 each
Procedure to Apply for Umrah Visa Application from the USA
- Fill out the Umrah visa application form. [Download Visa Application Form]
- Write down all of your personal details on it like names, age, address, etc.
- Legal proof that you’re traveling with your husband or father (MAHRAM) or authorization letter from them.
- Women over 45 years of age can travel with an organized group without her husband or father.
- Sign a document stating that you will not bring Alcohol/ intoxicants into the country.
- Take a hard copy of the form (print out).
- Visit your doctor to get a vaccination for “MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS” for adults and for under 15 age children to get a vaccination against Polio as well.
- Remember vaccination should have been given not more than 3 years prior to the date of entry to Saudi Arabia. Read more: Procedure to check Umrah Visa status online
Procedure for Traveling Reports
- In case, where you are planning the Umrah visit with the family, you need to contact a licensed Umrah travel agentin the USA who can help you to get Umrah visa as they used to have an agreement with the Saudi government. For instance, if you live in the United States you can contact (e.g. Dawn Travels) travel agency to travel to Saudi Arabia (KSA).
- Applying for Umrah visa, you need to have a passport and the passport validity must be at least 6 months and above from the date of the travel.
- Take a passport size photo that clearly shows your face. As it is a part of your Umrah visa application.
- Before you apply for your Umrah visa, you need to purchase your airline tickets. (Non-refundable Airfare). Be sure that the date of departure from Saudi Arabia is within the visa validity date and the stay must not extend the visa expiration date. Read more: List of Violations by Hajj & Umrah Pilgrims for 2019
Points to Ponder for Umrah Visa from the USA
- Umrah visas are valid from 15 days to 1 month. (The length of stay in the Kingdom will depend on the duration of the Umrah program chosen by the applicant).
- Remember that Umrah visas are not valid for work or residence.
- Each applicant for an Umrah visa must apply through a licensed U.S. travel agency, which must have signed a contract with a Saudi company to provide Umrah visa services. Read more: Kingdom Grants Umrah Pilgrims to Visit Any City
- It takes around two weeks to get a visa if the required documents and all the conditions are met.
- Multiple entries, a 6-month visa would cost $800 and a one-year visa would cost approximately $1333. The revised visa fees affect all tourists, religious or business visitors, but spares those traveling for the first time to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage Or Umrah.
- Any applicant visiting the United States who has legally spent more than two (2) months in the United States country may apply for an Umrah visa through an authorized travel agency. Read more: 16 Places where Dua is accepted during Umrah and Hajj
Source: Saudi Embassy