Saudi Arabia issues visa guidelines for religious visitors

Islamabad: Saudi Arabia Hajj and Umrah have issued a circular statement that pilgrims from countries with Hajj and Umrah's bioenrollment centers, such as Pakistan, must complete a mandatory biometric registration in their country after obtaining a visa to fulfill their religious obligations. .

Registering biometric information prior to arriving at the airport entrance is recommended to save waiting time at the airport and to facilitate smooth access to the KSA.

Only in 2019, the Saudi government did not follow the visa procedure, sending hundreds of visitors back to the airport without entering. The government said that to avoid such a case, pilgrims must apply for the right kind of visa through a travel agency registered with their country's Hajj and Umrah committee.

It is not possible to carry out Hajj or Umrah using the newly introduced tourist e-visa. Only tourists can attend concerts and sporting events in the kingdom.

Without the correct visa and documents, pilgrims will be fined and / or deported.

Officials talked about the benefits of performing biometrics before traveling to Hajj or Umrah, saying it was essential to provide biometric information to enter the Kingdom. He warned that pilgrims could face the threat of deportation if they did not follow proper visa procedures.

After the complete visa procedures, including biometric registration, are completed, pilgrims can travel without restrictions.

The official noted that it only takes 10 minutes to register biometrics at the local visa service center, but the longer the arrival time at the airport, the longer the waiting time at the airport can be.

Upon completion of the biometrics collection at the place of origin, the pilgrims must go through customs clearance and stamp their passports upon entry to Saudi Arabia.

Biometrics of the country of origin are collected only at the Visa Service Center approved by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, using a safe and fast process of capturing facial images with a digital camera and performing a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner. .

Biometric registration can be completed locally prior to travel or before arriving at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah or Prince Mohamed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Medina.

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