As borders are slowly opening up for tourism and travel across the world, many of you would want to explore places, go on a pilgrimage, or visit holy places. The two holiest pilgrimages for the Islamic community are the Hajj and Umrah. While Hajj can only be performed during the month of Dhul Hijjah, pilgrims are welcome to perform Umrah any time of the year. Both Hajj and Umrah have one destination as the focal point—Kaaba. Kaaba is situated in the mosque known as Masjid-Al-Haraam.
This Holy pilgrimage takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar—Dhu Al Hijjah. Hajj requires a person to repeat some rituals that were first performed by the Prophet Muhammed centuries ago. Hajj is a pilgrimage that can be performed only during the month of Ramadan.
People who live in Saudi Arabia or work there will not need a Hajj Visa. Visitors require a relevant Visa for their stay in the Kingdom. In case of wanting to perform the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage, a visitor needs a religious Visa. Muslims travelling to Makkah from other nations especially for Hajj will need a Hajj Visa.
The Hajj Visa
The Hajj Visas are issued from Mid-Shawwal until Dhual–Qa’dah each year. To apply for this Visa, you have to first fill an application form. You can get it from the nearest Saudi consulate. But, it is best to contact a licensed travel agency or agent for it. The travel agent can easily help you send your application to the Saudi consulate.
They can also help you plan your Hajj accommodation and travel. Therefore, most people contact a trusted online travel agency (OTA) or a licensed travel agent when they decide to go for the Hajj pilgrimage.
Hajj Visa Cost
The Hajj and Umrah Visas are free, but you will have to pay for a few amenities and services that you shall receive during Hajj. You are required to pay for the guide, Zamzam water agents, transportation cost, Arafat, and tent accommodation in Mina. Charges keep updating, it is best you connect with your travel agent to understand the fees you will have to pay.
Now, let us understand in detail all the Hajj Visa requirements that you must fulfil while applying.
Hajj Visa Requirements
Ensure thorough understanding of all the Hajj Visa requirements so that you can go through this process easily. Here is everything you will need to apply for the Hajj Visa.
- A passport valid for at least six months and two empty Visa pages.
- Submit one passport size colour photo with white background. Your travel agent might need two photographs, one for passport and one for the group identity card.
- Submit your Visa application form, signed and stamped by an authorised travel agency.
- If you are a Mahram, submit the marriage certificate and birth certificate of your spouse and children who are travelling with you.
- Women travelling with their Mahram must submit proof of kinship.
- Women above the age of 45 are allowed to travel without their Mahram, given that they travel in a group. Also, they need to submit a letter of no-objection from their Mahram, and it must be notarised.
- Children can accompany their parents on the Hajj pilgrimage. Children below 18 are not permitted to apply for Hajj Visa if they are not travelling with their family members.
- As a Hajj Visa applicant, you must have a non-refundable ticket with a confirmed reservation.
- Submit proof of two vaccinations: ACYW135 and meningitis.
- After COVID-19, it has also become mandatory to submit proof of vaccination against Coronavirus. And, you will have to provide a negative RTPCR report taken within 72 hours of your journey.
- Know more in detail about the regulations related to precautions against Coronavirus and which vaccines are valid in Saudi Arabia. Read our blog on Regulation You Must To Perform Umrah In Saudi Arabia.
- For children up to the age of age 15, provide a vaccination report for meningitis and polio. For children above 15, the same vaccination reports are required as adults.
More Guidelines to Keep in Mind for Hajj Visa Requirements and Hajj Pilgrimage Travel
If you are not a national of the country from where you are applying, submit documented proof of legal residence status.
If you have converted to Islam, present your Islamic certificate notarised by an Islamic centre.
When travelling for the Hajj pilgrimage, you should submit two certified checks or cashier checks at Jeddah for the pilgrimage services. The checks must include your name, passport number, place of issue, and date.
Preparing for Your Hajj Pilgrimage
It is best you book a package for the Hajj pilgrimage and its Visa assistance. Trusted and licensed OTA or travel agents can offer you different packages. At Elaf Group, we offer ready Hajj packages that include hand-picked hotels, and on-ground services for you to experience the best in Saudi Arabia.
We aim to make your Hajj a memorable one and also help you explore the three Holy cities. If you wish to have a customised plan, all you need to do is get in touch with us for your request.