How can I apply for Umrah visa from USA ?


What is Umrah?

Towards the end of the last year, you might have heard the Saudi Arabia Government announcing the Saudi Umrah Visa formalities and requirements. Are you wondering what Umrah is all about and how you can get a visa for Umrah? Keep reading to get answers to these questions.

When you are thinking about the most sacred pilgrimages for the Muslims, the first point that would strike your mind is the Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca. Yes, that is mandatory for all physically-fit Muslims, at least once in their lives. However, the Muslims also undertake another religious pilgrimage, known as the Umrah Pilgrimage.

Though not as strict as the Hajj pilgrimage, Umrah is considered to be very pious by the Muslims. It can be undertaken at any time during the year. The Umrah pilgrimage is also shorter than Hajj because it takes only a few hours to complete.

There are two important rituals involved in the Umrah pilgrimage. They are the Tawaf and Sa'i. In the first ritual (Tawaf), the pilgrims had to go around the Kaaba, which is right at the center of the Grand Mosque. In the second ritual (Sa'i), the pilgrims had to walk between the hills of Safa and Marwah in Mecca. After completing these rituals, they could completely shave off their hair, or they could partially cut it. This final process is known as Halq.

To undertake this pilgrimage, you have to follow some rules and regulations. If you are planning for a tourist visa to Umrah, you have to read the following and comply with the rules.

Visit Umrah/Saudi Arabia ? Requirements

Are you planning for your Saudi Umrah Visa? Here are two important prerequisites you should have taken care of:

  • You can proceed with your application for Visa for Umrah only if you have taken care of your travel & accommodation arrangements in Saudi Arabia. You should have these bookings done in advance before you apply for your tourist visa for Umrah.
  • You should only take the services of an authorized travel agency to process your visa application. You should submit the proof of your travel & accommodation bookings to this agency before they can process with your Saudi Umrah Visa application.

Currently, the cost that you have to pay for your tourist visa for Umrah is close to 300SAR (approximately $103). However, since you also have to take care of your travel & accommodation arrangements before applying for your visa, the cumulative cost of your initial visa application can come to around 1210SAR (approximately $323).

However, the good news for you is that you can repeat the Umrah pilgrimage as many times you want in a single year. Earlier, you had to pay 2000SAR (approximately $533) if you wanted to repeat your Umrah pilgrimage in the same year. Since this has been waived off, you can complete this pious pilgrimage as many times as you want without paying any extra costs.

With the world moving on to a tech-savvy zone, the Saudi Arabian Government, too, has been trying to make the Umrah visa application process completely online, for the benefit of pilgrims. Though the online process is not in place right now, one can expect it to be launched soon.

About Umrah

Though you cannot apply for your Visa for Umrah online, you can still get an online visa to this city for tourist purposes. The online tourist visa for Umrah is a welcome relief for foreign tourists to explore the beauty of Umrah. Currently, tourists from 51 countries can apply for their tourist visa for Umrah online. The application and approval processes take only a few minutes; therefore, you don't have to physically visit the Embassy for this purpose.

The online visa is marked as a multiple entry travel document. So, foreign nationals can use this tourist visa to complete their Umrah pilgrimage as well. The only condition that you have to remember is that you should travel to Saudi Arabia within 90 days from the date of issue of your online visa. Since there are no other prerequisites with this online visa, it costs much cheaper than applying for a specific visa for Umrah.

Umrah is known as the "lesser pilgrimage" when compared to Hajj. Though Muslims don't need to complete this compulsorily, it is highly essential to do so. Like the Hajj pilgrimage, Umrah is also a chance for Muslims to denote their surrender to Allah. Both the rituals in the Umrah pilgrimage hold a lot of religious significance in the lives of Muslims. It is definitely a great experience to try out the Umrah pilgrimage at least once in your lives.

Dawid Stawiarski
22 July 2020
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