Hajj, Umrah visas: Saudi Arabia launches biometrics service via mobile phones

After the Covid-19 wave and ban on Hajj and Umrah, Umrah is now open to vaccinated people from 9 August 2021. Saudi Arabia has slowly commenced collecting Umrah pilgrimage requests from abroad for vaccinated pilgrims from August 9 2021 after about a year and a half of not accepting overseas worshippers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia already had a biometric system for anyone coming from abroad but launched a new biometrics service via mobile phones. This biometric service will ease out the visa process for the pilgrims and they will not have to go through the hassle of getting visas in their respective countries. It will encourage and facilitate striving hajj and umrah pilgrims to get their Hajj and Umrah visas granted online.

According to the reports of local media from Abu Dhabi, Foreign Affairs Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal Bin Farhan inaugurated the launch of a smartphone app, yesterday Wednesday 6th October 2021, for self-registration of biometrics of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

This app will ease out the process of applying for Hajj and Umrah visas. The whole process, from applying for a visa to receiving the visa, will become easier for the pertaining pilgrims. This app will allow seeking pilgrims to get Hajj and Umrah visas granted online from their respective countries without even approaching the visa centers. They can get their respective visas effortlessly sitting at home.

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With the help of this new biometric service, pilgrimage applicants will be able to register their biometrics in their country just after installing the specified application on their smartphones. The process will eradicate the necessity to go to a visa allocation center.

For further validation and verification, according to Saudi Press Agency reports, when these pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia, they will go through the process of matching biometrics which will be carried out by the Saudi Arabia government. The Saudi government will carry out the process of verification and validation of the biometrics as soon as the Pilgrims reach Saudi Arabia.

With the liftoff of this modern technology of the new smartphone app for biometric verification, Saudi Arabia has evolved to be the first country that authorizes the registration of biometrics via smartphones for granting electronic visas.

Hajj, Umrah visas: Saudi Arabia launches biometrics service via mobile phones

The self-registration of biometrics service will be executed through the Saudi Company for Visa and Travel Solutions.

This service is inaugurated in line with the commands of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to propose the best possible services and facilities for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

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The ceremony of inauguration of launching the new smartphone app for verification of biometric service was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Eng. Waleed Al-Khuraiji, Assistant Foreign Minister for Executive Affairs Abdul Hadi Al-Mansoori, and Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Consular Affairs Ambassador Tamim Al-Dosari.

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