Umrah Grand mosque Saudi Arabia
In this file photo taken on June 14, 2018 worshippers gather at the Grand Mosque in Islam's holiest city of Mecca as Muslims perform the Umrah. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi authorities have urged overseas pilgrims arriving to perform umrah or lesser pilgrimage to ensure departure from the kingdom before the visa expires.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said staying after the visa expiry is considered a violation of the kingdom’s laws, Okaz newspaper has reported.

The ministry recently announced extending the umrah visa duration from 30 days to 90 and that during this time the pilgrim has the right to freely move across Saudi Arabia.

The ministry also said the pilgrim can arrive at and depart from any Saudi airport, should register in the Nusuk app and get an umrah permit.

Saudi Arabia recently launched a unified government platform, known as Nusuk, to facilitate measures for umrah pilgrims and visitors of the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

The platform enables Muslims wishing to undertake umrah or visit the sacred sites to obtain the necessary visas and permits as well as to book related packages electronically.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia, Islam’s birthplace, has introduced a set of facilities for umrah rituals undertaken through the year except during the annual hajj season.

Saudi Arabia has issued more than 126,000 visas for overseas Muslims wishing to perform umrah since mid-July, official figures have shown.