Spiritual preparation aside, getting an entry visa is arguably the most important aspect of your pilgrimage. Here's what you need to know about Umrah visa fees and requirements.

Spiritual preparation aside, getting an entry visa is arguably the most important aspect of your pilgrimage to Makkah. Here’s what you need to know about Umrah visa fees and requirements.

The Hajj migration is like no other in the world. Every year, more than 3 million faithful Muslims from across the globe flock to Makkah during the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regulates the number of visitors who journey to holy sites.

Umrah, the non-mandatory, but recommended pilgrimage to Makkah and nearby cities, can be performed at any time during Umrah season. This eight-month period is between the start of Safar and the end of Ramadan, though the Saudi government may extend it by two months to accommodate more pilgrims. While there are fewer restrictions for this journey, Umrah performers must still adhere to regulations regarding entry visas.

To obtain Hajj or Umrah visas (the two are not interchangeable), international visitors must go through authorized travel agencies. Hajj or Umrah performers are not allowed to apply for visas on their own. Government-approved agents are also responsible for arranging pilgrims’ transportation and lodging in Saudi Arabia.

For Saudi and GCC citizens
Citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, as well as GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) citizens, who wish to perform Hajj only need permits, obtainable from the Ministry of Haj’s E-Services portal. However, they need to book transportation and lodging with authorized Hajj operators. Saudi & GCC nationals and residents may only apply for Hajj permits once every five years. Umrah pilgrims from the Kingdom and the GCC do not need visas or permits.

Hajj and Umrah Visa Fees
There is no charge for the first entry visa for Hajj or Umrah, although the second visa costs SR2,000.

Special Hajj fees
Each Hajj pilgrim must pay two types of  fees related to services, accommodations and transportation:
• SR294 (€70) for services rendered by the Tawafa Establishment, National Guides Establishment, the Unified Agents Office and the Unified Zamzamis Office.
• SR300 (€72) for air-conditioned tents at Arafat and Mina.
Hajj performers ages 7–15 pay half those rates. Children under 7 do not have to pay.

Hajj and Umrah visa restrictions
The Saudi government has strict regulations for Hajj and Umrah visas. Failure to comply can result in fines, detentions, deportations and/or bans on future travel to Saudi Arabia.
• The visas use dates from the official Hijri calendar. The Hajj visa is valid only from 4 Dhu Al-Hijjah through 10 Muharram. The Umrah visa is issued only for Umrah season and is valid for 15 days.
• The two visas are not interchangeable. You cannot perform Hajj with an Umrah visa or vice versa.
• If you wish to perform Hajj more than once, you must wait at least five years between pilgrimages.
• Several documents are required before a visa will be issued: an application form, including information about the mahram (male relative) if the applicant is a female age 45 or under; proof of kinship (birth and marriage certificates); proof of vaccination; and a nonrefundable roundtrip ticket.
• Applicants who have converted to Islam must present a certificate notarized by an Islamic Center attesting to their conversion.
• Women 45 or younger may not perform Hajj or Umrah without an mahram.
• Women over age 45 may travel with an organized group and without a mahram, but they must submit a notarized letter of no objection from a male guardian.
• Minors (under age 18) may not travel unaccompanied by family.
• Both Umrah and Hajj visas restrict travel to the areas in, around and between Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah.
• Do not overstay your visa.
• Neither visa is valid for work or residency.

Once you have received your entry visa, you may want to know everything about the Umm Al Qura, and how to perform Umrah or Hajj from the moment you step in. Take a look at AccorHotels’ Makkah Guide that offers you a step-by-step guide to Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage.

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