Saudi Arabia introduces biometric smartphone app for visas

Kingdom becomes first country in the world to allow registration of biometrics on smartphones

Tens of thousands of Muslims move around the Kaaba, at the centre of the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Makkah in 2011. Photo: AP

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, on Wednesday launched an application for self-registration of the biometrics of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims through smartphones.

Saudi Arabia is the first country in the world to allow registration of biometrics on smartphones for issuing electronic visas.

Pilgrims can now apply for Hajj and Umrah visas from their smartphones. They will be issued online without the need for people to visit visa centres to register their biometrics in their countries.

The pilgrims’ biometrics matching process will take place on their arrival to Saudi Arabia, through land, sea and airports in the country, state media reported.

It will be carried out by the Saudi Company for Visa and Travel Solutions.

Updated: October 07, 2021, 12:59 AM