Recent Changes In Visa Policies Made By The Ministry Of Hajj And Umrah Saudi ArabiaBy Funadiq Team
Hajj and Umrah industry is experiencing changes rapidly. It has become essential for the pilgrims to know what procedure they have to follow now to get the Umrah Visa.
Drastic changes have been implemented by the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah in the Umrah Visa policies. Now pilgrims can buy their Umrah Visa instantly through the newly introduced E-Visa system by the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah rather than consulting travel agents and dealing with a foreign Saudi consulate.
Now, there is no need to submit the original passport to the consulate. You can submit its scanned image to process your visa. Whether you approach the local travel agent for the Umrah visa services or the e-commerce website, the same procedure will be applicable in both scenarios.
Booking Your Package
The Ministry of Hajj & Umrah has developed a GDS (Global Distribution System) by the name of Maqam, the Maqam system will be a live feed of all the information of suppliers of Makkah and Madinah to approved e-commerce websites. These websites will also include an E-visa integration where you can get your Umrah Visa online.
Residents of some countries specifically western (B2C) are eligible to book their own Umrah package through one of these approved websites and process their visas without the assistance of travel agents.
Other countries, like Pakistan, it is compulsory for external agents (B2B) to get registered with the websites approved by the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah to receive the best prices, discounts and to secure B2B pricing.
When you avail services of the travel agents, you have to buy their packages. You can book packages of your own choice and choose your desired hotel or transport from the e-commerce website.
Reservation Number (BRN)
To get your Umrah visa (E-Visa), you are required to first book your Hotel/Accommodation in Makkah and/or your Hotel/Accommodation in Madinah along with your private transportation. Once you have secured your hotel and transportation reservations, attached will be a unique reservation number (BRN) that you must provide when processing your Umrah Visa.
In this new season for Umrah H1441, there has been a lot of new changes in regards to Umrah visa polices. First and foremost, the additional SAR 2000 policy for second time Umrah goers has been officially removed.
Umrah visa fee is now going to be SAR 499 including the basic ground services packages.
Transport is not included and is starting from SAR 100 for public busses, If a group of fewer people is traveling then smaller vehicles can be reserved at an additional cost.
Along with this, you are required to purchase a ground services package with your Umrah visa which starts at a minimum of SAR 100.
Ground services are provided by Umrah operators to the pilgrims. There are different levels of this service and now it has become mandatory to choose one of the provided packages for ground services. The most affordable ground service package for the visa starts at SAR 100. The total cost of the Umrah visa will be around SAR 499 including the ground services and visa fee with value-added tax (VAT).
The hotel and transport charges will be charged additionally other than the cost of SAR 499 which is a Government fee, so your local travel agent or eCommerce websites will charge their margin other than this amount. As a result of the changes mentioned above, the entire reservation procedure of hotels and transport in Makkah and Madinah, along with the Umrah Visa has become convenient for the pilgrims. Now they can get all services online transparently through the newly introduced E-Visa system by the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah by avoiding all the hassle.