Umrah Pilgrims Now Need Biometric Verification Before Visa Application

Pakistani Umrah pilgrims need to get biometric verification before applying for visa. Biometric verification will cost Pakistani pilgrims an additional Rs. 1,040 million each year. The Travel Agents Association has called to stop this process.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) new visa law has been implemented from today. Under the new law, every pilgrim will need to get biometric registration before applying for a visa. To implement this law in Pakistan, Saudi authorities have partnered with Etimad.

Biometric registration is a very complicated system, especially for the uneducated Umrah pilgrims from rural areas. For biometric registration, pilgrims have to take an appointment for this service. Then they have to get to Etimad’s office on time for biometric registration.

It is also a costly process; each pilgrim has to pay Rs. 650 for registration. According to official data, about 1,600,000 Pakistani travel to KSA for Umrah or Hajj. These people will have to bear an extra cost of Rs.1,040 million thanks to the new law.

Chairman Travel Agents Association Pakistan (TAAP) Muhammad Yahya Polani told ProPakistani that this process not only causes stress, it also adds extra cost for Pilgrims.

“KSA should review this policy. Pakistani pilgrims are mostly living in remote areas of the country and this will cause them additional hassle. Pilgrims have to wait for hours for this process.” Polani said.

An Etimad official told ProPakistani that they have established a state of the art biometric system. Etimad is working on behalf of different governments that require the service.

“The biometric identification of applicants involves providing unique identifiers to applicants and may be established through fingerprint scanning, face, iris or retina scanning using sensors that acquire the information.” the official added.

Etimad Pakistan processes visa applications for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the country. Every individual requiring a visa for Hajj, Umrah, business, work or any other purpose will have to come to visit Etimad Visa Service Centers (VSC).

Currently Etimad has 6 VSCs  in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. These centres collectively process around 1.2 Million visa applications for KSA per year.

  • Yup they started it today and their system condition is worse than nadra half of the time system not works or becomes offline this they call as state of art , today in lahore they issued tokens to 700+ peoples and till now 9pm they only verified 250 , how they are supposed to accommodate that amount of people and this is today only. this needs to end

      • Yes everyone is asking this if nadra had verified every person so whats the reason of reverification. This is a practice to make more money and cause more hassle for the people. Yesterday i saw the people in etimad centre , they were helpless and people came with their children and older person from rural areas.

        • Agar NADRA Bio Metric Ko Sambhal Leti to Mardum Shumari Ki Zarorat Nahi Pharti :
          Hukumat ko Chahyeh tha Birth to Death Thumb Print ko Follow KARE
          Magar Kaha Ye RULE Koi Phochne Wala Nahi :

        • Oh that’s the bad news!!! Kids ki verification bi kar wa rahay hain, i mean age between 2 to 12 or 2 to 4 or 5?

            • Thanks for the information. Can you please further guide, Do we have to take appointment before going to their office? or just reach out there? What documents they require for the process? If I reach there at 8:30am, how much time would be required to get the process done (just to have an idea). As I am going to perform umrah in December, I will process my umrah visa through my travel agent, in that case too, what documents are require for their verification and what they return after verification? Thanks in advance.


    • Mara visa 28_10_2017 ko laga ha. Agent ny biometric verification nai karwai. To kya visa valid ha?

      • I think so coz yesterday the etimad employes announced that they cancel the biometric verification and umrah pilgrims can now go without any verification.

  • Pakistani Government Ko Chahyeh tha Wo Saudia K Is Law Ko BoyCot Karta Q?K Pakistan K Pas Quota Zaida Hai Aur Islamic Country Bhi Saudia Ko Manna He Pharta Agar Pakistan Stand Le Leta To

  • This type of rules is usually created due to illegals and overstayers which also become problem for common mans.

  • we have umra visa and flight in morning.we are worried will this new order effect us or its for new visa applications?

  • Saudi Government should facilitate the pilgrims instead of creating more problems for them. NADRA and Passport office has already the finger prints of the applicant. Technology has advanced. NADRA can give the data to banks & Mobile companies but not share it with the Saudi Authorities. If there is one thinking that the Saudi government wants to earn money, simply increase the amount of Visa instead to complicate the system.In this situation, Where is the Ministry of Religious Affairs…… Silent……as always.. and enjoying their jobs and protocols etc….

  • Why fingerprint data of Pakistani citizens be taken that way…
    Fingerprint is not a public property… it is illegal and can be misused by 3rd party or country like India…

    Nadra already has exposed verification service and given to banks, telcos for sim issuance etc

  • >