The last date for performing Umrah is June 4, 2023, according to an announcement made by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (MOHU) on Sunday, May 21.
The ministry also reminded pilgrims that the Umrah visa does not allow individuals to perform Hajj.
So, if you are planning to travel to Saudi Arabia, and want to arrive before the deadline, here are the important dates and visa options for Umrah.
Deadlines for Umrah 2023
As per MOHU, these are the deadlines for the Umrah pilgrimage:
- The last date for the arrival of Umrah visa holders: 15 Dhu Al Qa'da 1444H (June 4, 2023).
- The last date for the departure of Umrah pilgrims: 29 Dhu Al Qa'da 1444H (June 18, 2023).
Saudi Arabia visa options for Umrah
If you are planning to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah before the deadline, here are your options:
1. eVisa for GCC residents
All expatriate residents in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, regardless of their profession, can apply for a Saudi electronic tourist visa or eVisa.
With this eVisa you can visit family and friends, explore the country and perform Umrah anytime, except during the Hajj season.
2. Umrah permit through a licenced agency
The Nusuk platform which helps travellers obtain the necessary visas and permits for the pilgrimage, has a list of licensed Umrah companies on their website offering inclusive packages.
3. Visa on arrival for nationals of 49 countries
In Saudi Arabia, visa on arrival is open to nationals from 49 eligible countries. Tourists from the 49 eligible countries listed below can apply for a tourist visa online through the eVisa platform before travelling, or upon arrival in Saudi Arabia through the visa offices of the Immigration Department at the airport.
This also applies to individuals with a valid visa from the US, UK and Schengen area.
4. Transit visa
If you are booking a flight through a Saudi Arabian-based airline, such as Saudia or Flynas, and have a stopover, you can now apply for a transit visa, free of cost.
You can stay in Saudi Arabia for 96 hours/four days, and you are also allowed to perform Umrah, visit the Prophet’s [PBUH] mosque or attend tourism events.
To find out how you can apply for the visa, click here.
5. Tourist visa
If you are not eligible for the Saudi eVisa, you can apply for a Saudi tourist visa through the Saudi mission or an authorised travel agency in your home country.
According to Saudi Arabia's official tourism platform – visitsaudi.com – individuals must provide extra documents such as proof of accommodation in Saudi Arabia, a return ticket booking, proof of their employment and a current bank statement.
6. Family visit visa
For this visa, a family member residing in Saudi Arabia will have to sponsor your trip and they will send a visa application request to MOFA, through their visa portal – mofa.gov.sa. This visa is specifically for first-degree relatives like parents, wives or children.
7. Personal visit visa
According to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) visa platform - visa.mofa.gov.sa, this entry permit is sponsored by a Saudi citizen and it is for non-family and non-business related visits.