Umrah is a non-mandatory lesser pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year. Completing Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan, especially the last 10 days, is considered very holy. The four pillars of Umrah are – Ihraam, Tawaaf, Sa’y, and Tahal-lul. People performing Umrah are not required to go to Minaa, Arafaat, and Muzdalifah or throw pebbles on the Jamrahs (stone pillars representing devils) or offer an animal for sacrifice for these rituals are only performed during Hajj.
If you are a citizen of UAE or Saudi Arabia, following information on Umrah Visa will definitely come handy to you, more so, if you are planning to perform this holy pilgrimage anytime soon.
Umrah Visa Requirements:
Umrah Visa can be obtained only through an authorised ‘Umrah Agency’. Also, this agency has to be approved and selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please have a look the list of appointed agents with the embassy.
Documents required for resident for Umrah Visa:
A visa application can be obtained by post, by sending a large, self-addressed envelope to the nearest Consulate.
List of documents required for Umrah Visa:
1) Completed and duly signed Umrah visa application form.
2) Two recent passport size color photograph with a white background.
3) If someone has a non-Muslim name, he or she should submit a certificate from a mosque or an Islamic center stating that the applicant is a Muslim.
4) Passports should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of submission of the application form.
5) Confirmed and non-refundable airline ticket. Departure from Saudi Arabia should be within two weeks from the date of entry.
# Also, it is mandatory for women and children to be accompanied by husband/ or a male relative, with appropriate proof like marriage certificate for wife / birth certificate for kids).
# Please remember it is a prerequisite that every pilgrim entering Saudi Arabia on Umrah visa has his or her prearranged accommodation and return tickets, without which the applications can’t be processed.
How much does Umrah Visa cost?
An Umrah visa is normally issued for about Dh2,000. The charges are levied by the authorised travel agents to process the Umrah Visas. However, the Government of Saudi Arabia issues the visas free of charge but an aspiring pilgrim has to process the application through approved Umrah travel agents. One could also opt for all-inclusive packages that take care of visa formalities, hotels booking etc. or book these elements separately.
Validity of Umrah Visa:
The validity of Umrah visa is for 2 weeks only, one is supposed to perform Umrah within these 2 weeks, making sure their departure from Saudi Arabia is within two weeks of the date of entry.
Note: The visa for Umrah in Ramadan cannot exceed the last day of Ramadan. One should leave Saudi Arabia by the end of Ramadan and cannot celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr there.
READ MORE: How to perform Umrah from UAE?