Hajj 2023: Saudi ministry announces registration rules

Priority will be given to first-time pilgrims and all attending must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19

Pilgrims in Makkah in 2022. This year, a new pilgrim can accompany a main applicant as long as they highlight that it is their first time. AFP
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Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has confirmed that priority for registration this year will go to those who have not made the pilgrimage before.

A new pilgrim can accompany a main applicant, provided they highlight their first-time status in their application.

The news came during the ministry's response to a question on its Twitter account from a person who wanted to know the reason why his Hajj application was rejected.

The applicant had performed the pilgrimage 16 years before.

The Ministry announced on Thursday that pilgrims wishing to perform this year's Hajj must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Pilgrims must also have the meningococcal vaccine and the seasonal influenza shot, the ministry added.

They should not be suffering from acute chronic diseases or any infectious illnesses.

The ministry also announced on Sunday that it is not possible to add companions after paying the Hajj fees.

People cannot come to perform Hajj unless they hold a dedicated pilgrimage visa or have residency inside Saudi Arabia.

The ministry announced last week that it had opened registration for Hajj in 2023 for pilgrims residing in kingdom, with the price of packages beginning at 3,984 riyals ($1,062).

Domestic pilgrims have the option of paying the Hajj package costs in three instalments, instead of paying the full amount in one go, as was the case in previous years.

The ministry said prospective pilgrims could make a partial payment of 20 per cent of the total cost to reserve their place. The down payment must be made within 72 hours of the registration date. The second and third instalments will each be 40 per cent of the cost.

The pilgrim's Hajj status will become “confirmed” when the payments are made on time. The reservation will be cancelled if the payments are not completed.

Updated: January 13, 2023, 12:50 PM