Many people look forward to traveling to Saudi Arabia each year. If you are from the United States of America and are interested in visiting Saudi Arabia soon, you will have to apply for a visa. Recently.
There are different types of pilgrimage available for foreigners interested in participating in Umrah or Hajj, which typically happens between late June or during the first two weeks of July. Umrah is a pilgrimage available for travelers at any time of the year.
What is an Umrah visa?
An Umrah visa is a necessary travel document that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) requires foreigners to enter their country for them to be able to engage in the Umrah pilgrimage. Most people prefer to do this during the Ramadan month, as it may also count as having completed the Hajj tradition. It is a type of multiple-entry visa.
It is possible to apply for an Umrah visa at any time of the year. In 2022, the number of applicants was limited to one million due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this situation is expected to change in the years to come as more advancements have been made regarding the pandemic.
In addition, The Saudi government made e-Visas available for strangers who want to travel to their nation, making the process more straightforward and easier to complete.
Who needs an Umrah visa?
Umrah visas are necessary for foreign pilgrims interested in visiting Saudi Arabia. Citizens from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar are not required to request an Umrah visa. In addition, starting from April 2022, the Saudi government announced that people with current Schengen, UK, and US visas will be able to perform Umrah without the need to apply for an Umrah visa.
Alternatively, you can request an Umrah e-visa or electronic visa to make the process quicker and more straightforward.
Umrah Visa Requirements
If you want to enter Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage, you will have to complete an application form online. In addition, you will be required to have the following documents at hand:
A valid passport with a minimum of six months of validity, starting from the date of application.
A current passport photograph with a white background must have been taken within the last six months.
You must submit a copy of your UAE residence permit or any other valid legal document that proves your current status in the UAE.
Proof of vaccination is issued at least ten days before the travel date but not as old as three years. At the moment, the government of Saudi Arabia only accepts Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Alternatively, it can also be two dosages of Sinforam with an additional dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca. You can find more information at the Saudi Ministry of Health.
The processing time for your Umrah visa will be about one business day. In addition, it is necessary for your trip to be registered with the US Department of State. This way, the US Embassy will be able to contact you in the case of a hypothetical emergency, like natural disasters or civil unrest.
In addition, please note that travel from and to the following countries is suspended at the moment:
The Umrah visa application is very easy to complete. You can do so from any device with an internet connection.
Other useful information regarding Umrah visas
The travel site for Saudi Arabia has available some useful information regarding pilgrimage and tourist visas for people interested in visiting Mecca at any time of the year. Here are some other recommendations you should take into account if you are interested in visiting Mecca soon:
Besides an Umrah visa, you will also be required to have a valid permit for Hajj if you are visiting the country during the valid months. Otherwise, you may be subject to a fine, detention, or even a travel ban. Remember that while Umrah is a pilgrimage that can be completed at any time of the year, Hajj is only available during a specific season.
You can register your Umrah and Hajj travel plans through an online portal. This way, you will be able to obtain more information regarding accommodation, transportation, and entry to Saudi Arabia.
Umrah visas are valid for around 90 days. Pilgrims are expected to leave the country before the expiry dates. If you stay for longer than the Umrah visa validity period, you may face highly expensive fines, deportation, and even bans on future travels to Saudi Arabia.
An Umrah visa is only valid for travel in Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina. You can travel between any of these cities throughout the duration of your visa. If you travel outside these vicinities, you may face immigration violations and other penalties. You must request a tourist visa if you want to travel outside these areas.