Umrah can be called a minor pilgrimage that Muslims can perform by visiting the Holy city of Makkah and performing a few religious rituals. This is a journey that is open to all Muslims around the world. In order to complete the pilgrimage, visitors need to abide by the rules. The most important among them is to have a valid Umrah visa to enter the KSA. But, can you do Umrah when you are on a tourist visa? Here is a quick guide!
As per the Saudi Ministry of Umrah and Hajj, tourists who have tourist visas, as well as commercial visas, would now be allowed to perform Umrah during their stay in the KSA. In the past, Saudi Arabia gave specific Umrah and Hajj visas for pilgrims, enabling them to only travel between the cities of Medina and Mecca to perform Umrah. Tourist visas can now be obtained online through the Saudi portal or on arrival at the airport.
Tourist visas are often valid for 12 months, upon arrival at the airport without any need for a prior application, and the visa holder would be enabled to visit other cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This decision was made to streamline the visa application procedure and allow people to perform the Umrah. The new regulation is applied to 49 countries eligible for a tourist visa, along with the holders of UK, US and Schengen visas.
The Umrah and Hajj ministry also announced that tourist visa holders from several countries can perform Umrah by booking an appointment through the National Unified Visa Platform or the Eatmarna app. In order to perform Umrah, tourists should obtain health insurance that contains treatment costs for Covid-19.