Saudi Arabia has introduced a significant change to Umrah visas, now offering visa on arrival to citizens from twelve additional countries.

Effective from August 20, 2023, travelers from nations such as the United States, United Kingdom, various European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Brunei, and China can obtain Umrah visas upon reaching the kingdom.

This new system permits entry through air, sea, or land ports, enabling a 90-day stay in Saudi Arabia. These visas not only facilitate spiritual journeys but also promote family connections and tourism experiences.

This update allows travellers to explore the Kingdom and it’s rich heritage. To take advantage of this opportunity, eligible visitors must pay a $117 visa fee, which includes health insurance coverage. Those interested in applying for a visa on arrival can easily navigate the process on Saudi Arabia’s official eVisa website.

What is Umrah, the Islamic pilgrimage?

Umrah, also referred to as the ‘lesser pilgrimage’ or ‘minor pilgrimage’, entails a visit to the Holy Ka’aba, the Sacred Home of God. This sacred practice is open to Muslims throughout the year. In Islamic terms, Umrah involves performing Tawaf around the Holy Ka’aba and Sa’i between the hills of Safa and Marwah while in a state of Ihram, signifying a sacred commitment.

The core purpose of undertaking Umrah is to establish a connection with Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala – Glory to Him, the exalted), attain His pleasure, and reap the abundant rewards tied to this act of devotion. Through this spiritual journey, individuals cleanse their body, heart, soul, and mind from their past transgressions.

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Images: Feature Image: @visitsaudi