Procedure to get Hajj / Umrah Visa
Hajj, the five-day religious pilgrimage to Mecca is a huge and significant event for Muslims across the world. This holy journey to Mecca takes place only once in a year and is mandatory for Muslim adults once in their lifetime.
Where to Apply for Hajj Visa?
You can get the visa application form from the nearest Saudi Consulate. It is wise to take on a licensed travel agent, who can arrange your visa, travel, accommodation and everything else you might need to perform the Hajj. Your travel agent will send your application form to the Saudi Consulate.
When to Apply for Hajj Visa?
Each year, Hajj visas are issued from Mid-Shawwal to 25th Dhual-Qa’dah.
Documents Required to apply for Hajj / Umrah Visa
The completed application can be submitted to the HAF to State / UT Haj Committee along with the following documents –
- Passport must be valid for minimum 6 months and should have at least 2 empty visa pages adjoining each other. It should be acceptable both for entry to Saudi Arabia and entry to the next destination.
- One recent passport size colour photograph with a white background is required. Full-face view is acceptable. Some travel agents call for 2 colour photos for visa application and group identification card respectively.
- Application form filled in with black ink pen or printed should be signed and stamped by the certified travel agency.
- The Mahram should write on the application forms complete information on his spouse, children or any relative with whom he is travelling. Birth certificates and copies of marriage must be submitted.
- Women need to travel with a Mahram. Proof of kinship has to be submitted. Any female over 45 years old can travel without a Mahram but with any organized group. However, a notarized letter of no objection is required from her Mahram authorizing her to travel with the named group.
- The applicant must possess non-refundable roundtrip ticket with confirmed reservations.
- For meningitis and ACYW135, proof of vaccination must be submitted. For infants and children up to 15 years of age, vaccination report is mandatory for polio and meningitis. Children above 15 years of age should also present the same. The certificate of vaccination should have been issued not more than 3 years and not less than 10 days prior to entering Saudi Arabia.
- Every pilgrim ought to submit 2 certified checks or cashier checks payable to ‘Unified Agents Office’ in Jeddah for pilgrimage services that includes transportation costs, guides, Zamzam water agents, tent accommodation in Mina and Arafat. The checks should comprise the name and passport number of the pilgrim along with the date and place of issue. Each applicant must pay the appropriate fees. Pilgrims can submit one check combining both fees. Children between the ages of seven and fifteen should only pay half of the amount. Children below 7 years of age need not pay.
- Minors are granted a Hajj visa only when they are accompanied by family. Minors travelling one parent must submit a notarized letter of authorization, in either in Arabic or English, signed by either parents or legal guardians.
- In case the applicant is an Islamic convert, then an Islamic certificate notarized by an Islamic Center must be presented.
Hajj Application Process
You can download the HAF or the Hajj Application Form from the website and can either submit it online or offline to the Haj Committee. Going through the website is recommended in order to understand various rules and regulations pertaining to Hajj. It provides the do’s and don’ts and detailed guidelines for completing the application process.
Hajj Application Form (HAF)
The following details need to be filled up in the HAF:
- Name of Cover Head
- Applicant’s Name, D.O.B., Passport Details, etc.
- Complete Address
- Details of Nominee
- Name of Mehram with Relation in case of lady pilgrims
- Details of being a permissible Repeater, etc.
- Reserve category, if any
- Accommodation category
- Embarkation point
General Guidelines for getting Hajj Visa
- Travellers must carry vaccination certificates with them for inspection by the Saudi Authority at port of entry.
- Food products are not allowed into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The last day to enter King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah for the purpose of Hajj is 4 Dhu Al-Hijjah of each year.
- On arriving, pilgrims will hand their passports to the “Unified Agents Office” representatives who complete all travel formalities to Makkah and Madinah.
- On losing their passport, pilgrims should immediately report the loss to the same office appointed to take care of them during Hajj. Applicants must obtain a report from the office of the Unified Agents in which the loss of passport is mentioned.
- As per the rules of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, all pilgrims must leave the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after the completion of Hajj.
Hajj Baggage Regulations
There are certain baggage restrictions levied by the Ministry of Hajj on pilgrims arriving and departing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Maximum baggage weight: 32 kg
Maximum size: 56x45x25cm
Surplus baggage must be shipped. There are authorized Hajj cargo service centers in Makkah and at King Abdulaziz International Airport support services area.
Holy / Zam Zam Water Allowance in Airlines
Most of the airlines has the allowance of the holy / Zam zam water allowance as part of the checked baggage allowance. It should not be carried as a carry / hand baggage.
- Some airlines accept one jerry can containing up to 10 liters (2.64 gallons) of holy / Zam zam water
- Some airlines accept 5 liters of holy / Zam zam water
Please call your airlines to confirm the allowance.
How to carry holy / Zam Zam water from Hajj / umrah pilgrim?
About Zam Zam
Many Haj pilgrims bring holy water from the well of Zamzam at Masjid al-Haram, Mecca (Islam’s holiest shrine), to their families and friends. Every year, millions of pilgrims visit a well to sip its water while completing Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages.
On some flights, Zamzam cans are prohibited. Air India has now confirmed that customers may bring Zamzam cans as part of their permitted baggage allotment.
Guidelines/rules to carry Zamzam water in airline
- Many Haj pilgrims bring holy water from the well of Zamzam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for their families and friends. Pilgrims returning from the Haj in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to bring holy water from Zamzam in their checked luggage.
- All commercial aircraft departing from Saudi Arabia have a baggage allowance of 40 kilograms for all passengers. Passengers carrying Zam Zam are given a special 5kg allowance (holy water).
- This special allowance is only available to Zam Zam and cannot be converted to baggage allowance.
- The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Haj and Umrah has advised Indian Haj pilgrims to bring Zamzam (water from the Zamzam well at Masjid al-Haram in Mecca) jars home with them.
- These cans should be wrapped in plastic and placed in a cardboard box with the government’s insignia printed on it.
- To maintain flight safety, Air India has already banned the carrying of Zamzam cans on its narrow-body aircraft. The restriction does not apply to wide-bodied aircraft, though.
- Pilgrims are given baggage tags by the Haj Committee of India at the embarkation sites in India to make bag identification and delivery easier.
- There are no limitations on the amount of liquid that can be carried in checked luggage.