Dubai: Saudi Arabia has announced that holders of all types of entry visas will be allowed to perform umrah.
According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom have to book an appointment to perform Umrah through the Eatmarna app.
The ministry has set three steps for booking an umrah appointment. The first is to obtain an entry visa to the Kingdom, second ensure its validity period when registering and third booking an appointment on the app.
The ministry said the umrah permit will be automatically canceled in the event of not entering the Kingdom within a maximum of six hours of booking the umrah appointment. The ministry added that if the applicant turned out to be infected with the COVID-19 or has been in contact with an infected person, the umrah permit will be automatically cancelled.
This comes one week after the Kingdom reinstated the visa-on-arrival programme for holders of valid visas from the US, the UK and Schengen area.
Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said citizens of any country who hold one of the three visas, and who are travelling on one of the country’s national carriers – Saudia, Flynas or Flyadeal – can now receive a 12-month tourism visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia, without needing to apply in advance.
Visitors holding a valid US, UK or Schengen visa must have used it at least once to enter the issuing country or region in order to qualify for a visa on arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Citizens of any country eligible for the e-visa programme, which was introduced in 2019, may also receive a visa on arrival, regardless of the airline they are travelling with. Visitors will also need to purchase COVID-19 insurance, which they can do at any of Saudi Arabia’s international airports.