Saudi Arabia to launch service for Hajj pilgrims applying from abroad

Online service will be available on the kingdom's Nusuk app

Pilgrims gather on Jabal Al Noor in Makkah. AFP
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Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced plans for a service that will allow people who want to take part in the Hajj to apply from outside the kingdom.

The "individual pilgrims" service is part of a series of measures introduced by the ministry to improve the way people apply for the pilgrimage.

The service will also cover permits for Umrah and praying in the Rawdah Sharif, where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed is located.

Pilgrims can apply for permits using the kingdom's Nusuk app.

The ministry said it would allow pilgrims from Tunisia, the UK, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Kuwait to register their biometrics using the Saudi Visa Bio app so they can obtain a visa.

Last month, the ministry announced pilgrims from those countries would be able to register for a visa by submitting their biometric details online.

Saudi Arabia is the first country to allow visa applicants to register such details using a smartphone.

Pilgrims will be able to complete the process to obtain an Umrah visa electronically before they arrive in Makkah and Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Umrah visa has been extended from 30 to 90 days.

The ministry also announced plans for a comprehensive insurance service for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, to cover emergency health cases, Covid-19 infections, death and flight problems.

Nusuk currently offers more than 121 services to assist pilgrims from all over the world.

Updated: January 05, 2023, 11:31 AM