I cannot recall a place today and in history that hosts and has hosted as much as people as Makkah and Medina in Saudi Arabia. These two places are neither travel-destinations nor entertainment hubs. Their significance lies in their Islamic roots and Holy duties attached to them. More than 7 million foreigners performed Umrah and 2-3 million performed Hajj in 2019. Hajj and Umrah are religious pilgrimages undertaken in Makkah.
Due to Covid-19, the government of Saudi Arabia, on 22 June 2020, announced to limit and bare pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom. It was the people from all around the world, who were anxiously waiting for reopening. It was then announced, that it may open for Umrah from 1 November 2020, but again due to spike of the virus, they announced the suspension of international flights on December 20, 2020. It is a melancholic situation for millions of Muslims around the world. But the good news is the new policy that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding the visa.
The foreign affairs ministry of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to provide E-services to handle visa system. It provides the services to foreign citizens to request an Umrah Visa and application review online. It also allows the Saudi diplomatic missions abroad to issue the visas.
This allows people to apply for the visa online while sitting at their homes and can also apply through a licensed travel agent.
Why is it Beneficial for UK Citizens?
The ‘efficiency’ and ‘accessibility’ features of the E-visa are the highlights of the deal. It has made it very easy for the citizens of the UK aspiring to perform visa. It helps in attaining an Umrah Visa from UK easily and comfortably. People are simply asked to complete the procedures online or get help from Umrah consultants and get the permit to enter KSA for pilgrimage.
Procedure of Online Application for Umrah Visa:
Firstly, it must be assured that the passport with which you are applying for a visa must be valid. It must be at least valid for 6 months at the point of application.
There are basic formalities that are required to apply online for a visa are:
1- You have to complete an online application form that you will find online.
2- You are required to submit the application fee.
3- You must submit a passport size coloured photograph taken in a white background.
4- A certificate of meningitis vaccination issued not less than 10 days before entering the country and not more than three years.
5- If the name of the person is not Islamic, the person requires to submit a certificate of proof from a mosque or Islamic centre, verifying that he is a Muslim.
6- A non-refundable return ticket is also one of the requirements of the E-Umrah. One must note that the validity of the E visa is two weeks only.
7- You must also mention a valid email address where you will receive the granted visa.