Saudi Arabia Bans Visit Visa Holders From Entering Makkah in Hajj Season

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has banned the entry of visit visa holders to the holy city of Makkah during the Hajj season.

The Ministry of Interior announced in a statement that the ban will be enforced from May 23 to June 21. According to the Saudi Press Agency, foreigners holding visit visas in Saudi Arabia are urged not to travel to Makkah during this time.

The ministry stated that anyone intending to perform Hajj rituals in Makkah must obtain a permit, as visit visas do not grant permission for Hajj.

Furthermore, Saudi Gazette, citing the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, reported that the ministry has stopped the issuance of Umrah permits through the Nusuk app, an online portal for obtaining permits to perform the rituals.

The Saudi officials have warned of strict punishment and hefty fines for those violating the order. “A fine of SR10,000 ($2,666) will be imposed on individuals caught in Makkah and the holy sites without a Haj permit, applicable to citizens, residents, and visitors,” they warned.

Officials further added that the “fine will double for repeat offenders, and resident violators face deportation and a ban from entering Saudi Arabia.”

Penalties will be enforced on individuals found without a Hajj permit within specific areas of Makkah, including the city, central Haram area, holy sites of Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah, as well as at the Haramain train station in Russeifa, security control centers, pilgrims’ grouping centers, and temporary security control centers.

Moreover, individuals caught transporting pilgrims in Makkah without Haj permits will face imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of 50,000 Saudi riyals.

Published by
Arsalan Khattak