Umrah Visa

Umrah Visa

For over 1.8. billion Muslims in the world today, Umrah is a very significant and holy pilgrimage. Pilgrims from all over the world embark on their journey to Mecca, located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Umrah involves rituals like Tawaf and Sa'i, performed under specific conditions. Pilgrims participating in Umrah must obtain a Saudi Arabia Umrah visa before arriving in the country. This visa allows the holder to travel to the Kingdom for the purpose of performing Umrah for a specific period of time.

While citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries enjoy visa-free entry, others can apply for a Saudi tourist e-Visa to undertake Umrah, with exceptions during the Hajj season. Other nationals that are not eligible for the Saudi e-visa can apply for a Saudi tourist visa through an accredited agency.

Recent visa regulations, effective from 2022, extended the Umrah visa duration from 30 to 90 days, providing ample time for pilgrims to complete their rituals. However, it's important to note that Umrah-specific visas cannot be extended. Other types of visas, including tourist, transit, and visa-on-arrival, are available for various purposes in Saudi Arabia and may be used for Umrah.

Who needs an Umrah visa?

All visitors to Saudi Arabia who plan to participate in the holy pilgrimage of Umrah must either obtain an Umrah visa or a Saudi tourist e-visa. For nationals from 63 eligible countries, Saudi Arabia offers a one-year, multiple-entry e-visa. The e-visa allows for stays of up to 90 days per visit, enabling participation in tourism-related activities like cultural events, leisure and recreation, family visits, and Umrah.

Notably, the e-visa does not permit visits for Hajj. Studying is also not allowed while holding a Saudi e-visa. The e-visa aims to facilitate exploration of Saudi Arabia's rich heritage, vibrant culture, and diverse landscapes, from the mountains of Abha to the Red Sea beaches and the vast expanse of the Empty Quarter.

All other international visitors not eligible for a Saudi e-visa must apply for an Umrah visa through an authorized agency. An Umrah visa can be reserved through designated application platforms like Nusuk. Individuals can apply for themselves directly or with accompanying individuals through Nusuk.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria to obtain a Saudi e-visa or Umrah visa. All applicants must be practicing Muslims and be at least 18 years old if applying alone. Minors under 18 can apply for either the e-visa or the Umrah visa alongside a parent or legal guardian. Anyone age five and above can perform Umrah.

Most importantly, applicants for the Saudi e-visa must have legal residency or be a citizen of one of the 63 eligible countries. Nationals of other countries must apply for an Umrah visa through an authorized agency.

Since 2022, Saudi Arabia has relaxed specific regulations, permitting women aged 18 to 65 to undertake Umrah without a male guardian as long as they travel in a group and have formal consent from their husband or father, known as a mahram

Visa Validity and Duration

The updated Saudi Arabia visa regulations implemented in 2022 prolonged the validity of Umrah visas from 30 to 90 days. This offers pilgrims more time to complete their sacred rituals during their stay in the Kingdom.

Travelers with a Saudi e-visa will typically receive a multiple-entry visa valid for one year and permits stays of up to 90 days. However, Saudi Arabia also offers a single-entry visa valid for 90 days, allowing a 30-day stay. Applicants should confirm their travel plans before submitting their visa application.

Depending on the type of visa selected, it is critical to review the visa details to avoid overstaying and the associated penalties. Umrah visas cannot be extended and departure before the visa expiry is mandatory. Specific guidelines apply to Umrah visas during Ramadan, necessitating departure by the end of the holy month and precluding Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in Saudi Arabia.

Application Process

The application process for the Umrah visa and the Saudi e-visa are distinct and will depend on the applicant’s nationality. The basic steps for the two procedures can be found below:

Saudi e-Visa

  1. Submit the e-visa application form

    Submitting the e-visa form is simple and easy to do. Applicants can complete the application form online by submitting their passport details and other required information.

  2. Pay the visa fees

    Applicants can pay the fee of $199 online using a valid credit or debit card.

  3. Receive the approved visa

    The applicant will receive their approved Saudi e-visa via email. All applicants should review the visa information to ensure it’s correct before traveling.

Saudi Umrah Visa

  1. Find an authorized agent

    Foreign nationals who are not eligible for the Saudi e-visa can apply for their Umrah visa through a travel agent authorized by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

  2. Gather the required documents

    Applicants must gather all the required documents, including a valid passport, a recent passport-sized photo, and proof of residence. Other requirements may apply depending on the applicant’s unique situation.

  3. Complete the application form

    Application forms can be submitted to the travel agency and should be completed with the most accurate, up-to-date information. As for the Umrah visa cost, Umrah visas are free of charge.

  4. Wait for processing

    Umrah visas are typically processed within five (5) business days. Applicants should factor this into their travel plans.

  5. Collect the approved visa

    Once the visa is approved, the applicant can collect their passport with the new visa from the travel agency. They can proceed with their travel plans to Saudi Arabia.

Requirements for Umrah Visa

All applicants traveling to Saudi Arabia for the holy pilgrimage of Umrah must adhere to some requirements to ensure the visa process is as smooth as possible. The following are the basic criteria that applicants must meet for the Saudi e-visa and Umrah visa, respectively:

Saudi e-Visa

A valid passport

Passports must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the date of entry into Saudi Arabia. There is an exception for United States citizens who can enter with a valid passport, regardless of the time remaining until it expires.  

A valid form of payment

All applicants must have a valid form of payment when applying for their e-visa online. A credit or debit card will suffice for most applications.

Age requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to travel to Saudi Arabia alone. Anyone under 18 can travel with a parent, grandparent, or adult sibling over 18.

Saudi Umrah Visa

A valid passport

Applicants for the Umrah visa must have a passport valid for at least six (6) months past the date of entry into Saudi Arabia.

Age requirement

Applicants must also be at least 18 years old to travel to Saudi Arabia alone. Travelers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent, or adult sibling who is over 18. 

Proof of residency (if applicable)

If residing in a country that is not their country of origin, applicants should submit valid proof of residency, such as a residency card or work visa.

Return ticket

Applicants should include a roundtrip airline ticket to Saudi Arabia that departs within 90 days of arriving in the country.

A completed Umrah visa application form

The visa form should be filled out accurately with the applicant’s most recent contact details and personal information.

A certificate from a mosque or Islamic center (if applicable)

This applies to any applicants with non-Muslim names and those who converted to Islam. 

A recent passport-sized photograph

 The photo must be on a white background and should be attached to the application form. The applicant must be photographed facing forward.

Proof of relationship

Women and children should be accompanied by a mahram, a husband, father, or other male relative. Proof of relationship can be submitted as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or other valid document.

**As of 2022, women between 18 and 65 can go on Umrah without a mahram if they travel in an organized group and obtain a notarized No Objection Certificate signed by their mahram.

Valid vaccination certificate

All travelers must be vaccinatedagainst Meningococcal Meningitis. The vaccination certificate should be less than three (3) years old and should be issued at least 10 days prior to entering Saudi Arabia. It must be valid for three (3) years. Travelers should have their vaccination certificate with them when they enter the country.

Processing Time

The processing times for the Saudi e-visa are much faster than the Umrah visa. Saudi e-visas are typically issued within 24 hours. Visas for Umrah issued by authorized travel agencies are usually processed within five (5) business days. All applicants are advised to plan ahead and start their visa process early in case of any unforeseen delays. 

Umrah Visa Fees

The Saudi e-visa currently costs $199. This fee is subject to change at the discretion of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tourism. For all nationals who are not eligible for the e-visa, the Umrah visa itself is free of charge. However, other costs may apply during the visa application process and certainly during the trip to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. Applicants should be sure to budget ahead of time before traveling.  


How long does it take to process an Umrah visa?

For foreign nationals who are not eligible for a Saudi e-visa, the processing time for an Umrah visa is around five (5) business days. Processing times can vary depending on the country and specific circumstances. It’s essential to plan ahead to ensure there is enough time to complete the visa procedure and to factor in any unexpected delays.
The Saudi e-visa is an excellent option for those nationals who are eligible, as it only takes around 24 hours to be processed.

Can I extend my Umrah visa if I need more time?

Unfortunately, Umrah visas are only issued for stays of up to 90 days. Extensions are not permitted at this time.

Are there any restrictions or conditions associated with an Umrah visa?

Yes, there are certain conditions and restrictions associated with Umrah visas. These may include requirements such as traveling with a registered tour group, staying only in approved accommodations, and adhering to specific entry and exit dates specified on your visa.

Can I perform Umrah during the Hajj season with an Umrah visa?

No, Umrah visas are generally not issued for travel during the Hajj season. During the Hajj season, which occurs once a year during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, specific Hajj visas are issued exclusively for pilgrims performing the Hajj pilgrimage.

What should I do if my Umrah visa application is rejected?

If your Umrah visa application is rejected, you should consult with the authorized travel agent for guidance on the reasons for rejection and any possible recourse or alternative options available to you.

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