Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Tuesday the start of the new Umrah season for citizens and residents of Gulf Cooperation Council countries including the Kingdom, state news agency (SPA) reported.
Citizens and residents of GCC countries are now able to apply for an Umrah permit via the "Nusuk" or "Tawakkalna" applications after the successful end of this year's Hajj season.
The Nusuk application can be used to obtain the necessary permits to perform Umrah and visit the Holy Rawdah in the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, while Tawakkalna ensures that the applicant meets the necessary health requirements.
The ministry recently announced that pilgrims from outside of the GCC area will be able to perform Umrah from the start of the new Islamic year which will fall on either next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Who can go?
Muslims holding different types of entry visas such as the personal, visit and tourism visas are allowed to undertake Umrah and visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is located at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina after booking an e-appointment.
Saudi authorities have extended the Umrah visa from 30 days to 90 and allowed holders to enter the kingdom via all land, air and sea outlets and leave from any airport.
The kingdom has also announced that expatriates residing in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are eligible to apply for a tourist visa, regardless of their profession, and be able to perform Umrah.
Likewise, holders of the Schengen, US and UK visas can book appointments to perform Umrah and visit Al Rawda Al Sharifa via the Nusuk app before arrival in Saudi Arabia.
- Inputs from Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent