Saudi Hajj Ministry to issue Smartphone biometrics for Umrah Visa from 5 countries

Saudi Hajj Ministry

Makkah, The Gulf Observer: Saudi Hajj Ministry of Umrah announced that it has granted permission to register vital features of biometrics on smartphones to issue online Umrah visas for those coming from five countries. The beneficiaries of this service include pilgrims from the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Bangladesh, the ministry said in a statement.

The procedures for the issuance of Umrah visas electronically will be completed based on biometrics prior to their arrival in Makkah and Madinah. The decision comes as part of the efforts by all government sectors to facilitate the procedures for the arrival of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

The ministry noted that the registration process will be completed through the Saudi Visa Bio smartphone application by self-registration of vital characteristics from the country of arrival. The registration of the biometric features of the face, eye, and fingers, and self-photocopying of the passport via the application will enable Umrah visa applicants to register vital characteristics electronically by themselves without the need to visit the embassies and consulates of Saudi Arabia or visa issuance centers in their respective countries. This will facilitate their entry through all Saudi land, sea, and air ports with less time and effort thanks to the simplified procedures.

The registration of vital features on the app is carried out through four steps, such as the automated reading of the passport; identification of the type of visa; taking a photo of the face; and fingerprinting.

The facilitation of vital characteristics registration procedures is part of efforts by all government sectors in Saudi Arabia to serve the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. It is noteworthy that the Kingdom is the first country to use the registration of vital features of visa applicants via smartphones.