JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the Kingdom will now allow visitors holding tourist visas to perform Umrah.
Citizens of 49 countries, including Japan, will be able to do so by securing their visas online at Visit Saudi Arabia, or immediately on arrival at airports. Umrah and visiting Makkah is only permitted for Muslim visitors.
The decision has been taken to allow as many people as possible to perform the ritual.
Those who qualify include holders of visas to the US and the UK, as well as those who have Schengen visas.
The regulations allow visitors to obtain a tourist visa, valid for 12 months, to visit other cities in the Kingdom.
Those who have family visit visas are allowed to perform Umrah, by booking through the Eatmarna app.
To perform Umrah, visitors are required to obtain comprehensive health insurance, which includes covering the costs of COVID-19 treatment, accidents resulting in death or disability, and expenses arising from flight delays or cancellations.
Those wishing to perform Umrah from nations other than those who currently qualify, should apply for visas at the Kingdom’s embassies in their countries.
Documents required include proof of residence and employment, return ticket, bank statement proving financial stability, itinerary, and complete personal information.