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Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa for U.S. citizens: Requirements and application online
Photo of Ra'eesah Manack
Ra'eesah Manack
5 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Last updated: May 2024**

Is your heart yearning to perform Umrah? Let's unpack the Saudi Arabia Umrah visa requirements for U.S. citizens.

Before you go, you must apply for an Umrah Visa if you're from the United States. There are two types of visas you can apply for to perform Umrah: the special Umrah Visa or the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa.

Keep reading to learn everything about the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa for U.S. citizens and how we can help you process your online visa application.

saudi arabia city

Umrah Visa requirements for U.S. citizens

As stated above, most foreign pilgrims, including citizens of the United States of America, must complete an Umrah or Tourist Visa application before they begin their journey.

Any U.S. citizen approved for an Umrah Visa must also have mandatory travel insurance to cover any emergency medical costs that could arise during their stay in the Kingdom.

What is the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa?

The Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa is a specialized travel document that allows foreign nationals to enter Saudi Arabia to perform the Islamic pilgrimage known as Umrah. Unlike the Hajj pilgrimage, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar, Umrah can be performed at any time of the year except during the Hajj season.

The Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa typically comes with a validity of 90 days, giving you ample time to complete your spiritual rites and even explore the rich culture of Saudi Arabia. Note that this visa is solely for religious purposes and doesn't permit you to engage in any form of employment or extended residency in the country.

Please note: You cannot use this visa to perform Hajj. Umrah visas are not issued during the Hajj period, and you must apply for a special Hajj Visa through an authorized travel agency.

Introduction of new Umrah Visa rule in 2024

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia has made significant updates to the Umrah Visa rules. Umrah Visas now remain valid for 90 days from the issue date. Previously, the validity of the visa began once you arrived in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Umrah Visas for pilgrims coming from outside the country will now expire on 15 Dhu al-Qa’dah, which corresponds to May 23, 2024, for the current season. The previous expiry date was 29 Dhu al-Qa’dah. This change allows Saudi authorities more time to prepare for the Hajj season, aiming to improve the experience for both Umrah and Hajj pilgrims.

All international pilgrims must leave the country by the new expiry date. There are penalties for overstaying an Umrah Visa, which will be levied on both the pilgrims and the companies that arranged their visas.

Differences between the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa and the Umrah Visa

It's important to note that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers an Umrah Visa and a Tourist Visa. The Umrah visa provides Umrah pilgrims with certain perks you won't get with a Tourist Visa. For instance, those with an Umrah Visa may leave the country with ZamZam, while those on a tourist visa may not.

Other differences include that the Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa is a multiple-entry visa that anyone can apply for. In contrast, the electronic Umrah Visa is a single entry visa only issued to Muslims for the sole purpose of performing Umrah.

There are certain limitation to the Tourist Visa too, such as not being able to bring home Zam Zam water (holy water). So consider your options and needs before choosing the visa category.

How often can I enter Saudi Arabia with an Umrah Visa?

The Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa is a single-entry visa. Thus, you can enter the country only once for a maximum of 90 days.

Can I enter Saudi Arabia through land borders, apart from airports?

If you apply for a Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa, you can enter Saudi Arabia via the land borders of Dubai or Bahrain.

The Saudi Arabia Umrah application process

Follow these simplified steps designed for U.S. citizens, aimed at making your Umrah journey seamless and spiritually fulfilling:

  • Step 1: Fill in your details. Kickstart the process by completing our streamlined online application form. Fill in your personal details and double-check them for accuracy—this is the cornerstone of your pilgrimage.

  • Step 2: Finalize your application and pay the Umrah Visa fees. Conveniently pay using your credit/debit card or opt for PayPal to ensure a secure transaction.

  • Step 3: Gather your required documents and upload them through our user-friendly interface. Hit the "Submit" button and consider your Umrah ambitions almost fulfilled. We'll take it from here and reach out only if we need additional details.

  • Step 4: Register on the Umrah apps. Once you enter the country, you need to download two obligatory apps on your phone: the Tawakkalna app (which works only in Saudi Arabia and will contain all your vaccination records, which you need to display when you enter hotels, restaurants, and the masjids) and the Etmarna app (which allows you to get prayer permits and have them linked to your Tawakkalna). Your spiritual journey to Saudi Arabia awaits! Start your application here!

When should I apply for the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa?

Timing is crucial when planning a spiritual journey of this magnitude. Ideally, you should begin the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa application process at least one month before your intended travel date. This will give you sufficient time to gather all the required documents, complete the online application, and allow for any unforeseen delays in the processing time.

Our years of experience have taught us that flexibility is key, especially when dealing with variables like visa processing times, which can range from a few days to several weeks. Starting early can help you sidestep any hurdles and keep your spiritual journey on track.

If you're a U.S. citizen looking to expedite the process, iVisa's user-friendly platform and mobile app make it a breeze. With an intuitive interface, around-the-clock support, and real-time updates, you can be confident that your application is in expert hands. That way, you can focus on preparing your soul for the experience that awaits.

More information about traveling to Saudi Arabia?

If you have any questions about the Saudi visa options or application, please contact our customer service team, who are available via online chat or WhatsApp.

Photo of Ra'eesah Manack
Ra'eesah Manack
iVisa Travel Journalist
Meet Ra'eesah, our globe-trotting aficionado who calls both Botswana and South Africa her home. With a passion for everything travel, Ra'eesah finds joy in exploring new places and embracing diverse cultures. Join her as she shares her journey and insights, one exciting destination at a time.
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