Saudi Arabia has decided to allow tourists to perform Umrah. The decision comes a couple of weeks after the commencement of the new Islamic Year 1444 AH.
According to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, citizens from 49 countries, including the US, the UK, and the Schengen region, will be able to perform Umrah after securing tourist visas. Note here that most of these countries are pre-dominantly non-Muslim and Pakistan is also not in the list.
Visitors can get tourist visas either online or after arriving in the country, provided Saudi Arabia considers their countries eligible for the issuance of online visas and visas on arrival. A Saudi tourist visa is valid for 12 months, allowing holders to visit the entire country.
Before embarking on the Umrah journey, holders of tourist visas will be required to get health insurance, covering the costs of coronavirus treatment and accidents leading to death or disability. The tourists must also cover all additional expenses incurred due to cancelation or delay of flights.
Here are the 49 countries eligible for the tourist visa:
|South Korea||Kazakhstan||China||USA||Canada||Australia||New Zealand|
As for the citizens hailing from countries other than these, they can perform Umrah after securing visas from the embassies of Saudi Arabia in their respective countries.
At the time of submitting applications, applicants are required to furnish proof of employment and residence, bank statement, return ticket as well itinerary, and other details.