KSA to devise new Umrah policy for this year

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Shamim Mehmood

Islamabad

Without bio-metric verification entry could be high security risk for Saudi Arabia, law enforcement agencies and Immigration department advised to have pre biometric verification from the home country, sources said.

According to the diplomatic sources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will evaluate and release its new Umrah policy for this year 2019-20.

Earlier, the Saudi Gazette reported that people coming for Umrah will not have to go to Saudi embassies or consulates as they can have their visas issued electronically in less than 24 hours. Abdulaziz Wazzan, ministry’s undersecretary for the affairs of the Umrah, expected 10 million Umrah visas to be issued in the new season.

Since the security situation in KSA is at high, illegal people can have easy entrée to KSA without the verification and immigration dept at airports could be high populated for bio-metric verification for the expected 10 million people willing to perform Umrah, the sources added. Therefore, the security dept advised the high ups to review the electronic visa policy for the foreigners.

Earlier the KSA has issued a royal decree restructuring visit, Haj and transit visas and cancelling repeat Umrah fees, however Saudi has introduced a fee for the visa of about 300 SAR. It is to remind that more than 2 million Pakistani people perform Umrah every year.