Saudi Arabia launches app for self-register biometric service for Hajj, Umrah pilgrims

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on October launched a smartphone application for self-registration of the biometrics of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

This biometric service was launched by Saudi minister of foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan. With the launch of the new system, Saudi Arabia is the first country in the world to allow biometrics to be recorded on smartphones for the issuance of electronic visas.

Pilgrims can now apply for Hajj and Umrah visas from their smartphones. It will be issued online without the need for people to visit visa centers to register their biometrics in their countries. The process of matching the pilgrims’ biometrics will take place upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia, via land, sea and airports in the country, said the report.

The biometrics self-registration service will be implemented through the Saudi company for visa and travel solutions.

Saudi Arabia to permit only vaccinated pilgrims to Makkah for Umrah and prayers

On October 3, the Kingdom’s ministry of health announced that the permit for performing Umrah and prayer at the Grand Mosque in Makkah is likely only for those pilgrims who have completed vaccination against COVID-19.

The ministry had announced that the health status on the Tawakkalna application would be updated effective after October 10 and under which the status of immune would be given only for those people who have completed vaccination.

According to the new update, the health status will be shown immune on the Tawakkalna application only for those who received two doses of any of the vaccines of Pfizer-BionTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.