The kingdom of Saudi Arabia says it has launched an electronic service for the issuance of visas to umrah pilgrims within 24 hours.
With the launch, Muslims from countries outside Saudi Arabia planning to attend umrah can now individually apply for the visa through a designated web service.
Umrah is the non-mandatory lesser pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca, which may be performed at any time of the year.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, minister of hajj and umrah in Saudi Arabia, said the umrah visa validity has also been extended from one month to three months.
Tawfiq added that “the visit visa for Umrah will be issued now within 24 hours”.
He said pilgrims who visit the kingdom to perform umrah can also visit other Saudi cities without any restraints.
The minister said one million people are expected to perform hajj in 2022, including 85 percent of foreign pilgrims.
#VIDEO: Minister of #Hajj and Umrah Dr. @tfrabiah announced the launching of an electronic service to apply for #Umrah visa for individual Umrah pilgrims from outside #SaudiArabia. “The visit visa for Umrah will be issued now within 24 hours. — https://t.co/8niJh8r5B9 pic.twitter.com/rsOK3DUIpi
— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) June 2, 2022
He also said the ministry and other related agencies are working to ensure the safety of all pilgrims, adding that digital technologies would help organise the 2022 hajj better.