Do we need a Special Permit to Perform Umrah?

Any fit and active Muslim who has the financial resources to do so is welcome to perform the Umrah in order to obtain Allah’s blessings and favour. It is a short and optional pilgrimage, although there are some things that international pilgrims need to prepare beforehand, like purchasing flight ticket and hotel, along with applying for the appropriate permit. 

But what about expats living in and outside of Saudi Arabia?

The Umrah permit is a requirement for entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all pilgrims seeking to fulfil their religious duty, including expat residents in Saudi Arabia. Below, we have gathered everything you need to know about the Umrah permission for expats. 

What is an Umrah permit?

An Umrah permit is a digital document provided by the Nusuk app that allows its owner to enter the Grand Mosque, offer prayers at the Noble Rawdah, and moreover, to complete the Umrah ritual. 

Umrah permit for Saudi expats 

In general, anyone who wants to undergo a minor pilgrimage is obligated to request an Umrah permit. You can download the ‘Nusuk’ application for Android or iPhone. Below is the step-by-step to obtain Umrah permit from Nusuk app: 

If you already have Nusuk account, you can login to your account with this step-by-step: 

  1. Click ‘Login’ 
  2. Click on the ‘Visitor’ 
  3. Choose your nationality 
  4. Input your passport number 
  5. Input your password. 

Otherwise, you can sign up for a Nusuk account by following these steps: 

  1. Click ‘New User’ 
  2. Click on ‘Visitor’ 
  3. Input your full name 
  4. Input your passport number 
  5. Input your date of birth 
  6. Choose your nationality 
  7. Input your e-mail and confirm it 
  8. Input your passport and confirm it. 
  9. Tick off all the terms and conditions. 
  10. Click on ‘Register’
  11. Wait for the OTP code to be sent to your e-mail and input it in your app 

If you’ve already registered, you can exit your app and log back in to Nusuk app with your account, and follow these steps to obtain your permit:

  1. Open the Nusuk app on your phone
  2. Scroll down to the ‘Holy Mosque Services’ 
  3. Tick off the Main User
  4. Choose the date of your Umrah 
  5. Select the time slot for your Umrah 
  6. Tick off the ‘Obligation to see the instructions’
  7. Click ‘Issuing permit’
  8. Review your permit details. 

Do Saudi expats who are outside of KSA need a visa to perform Umrah?

If you are Saudi expat residents who are currently outside of KSA, you may need to apply for an Umrah visa depending on where you come from and what kind of visa you hold. If you are a Saudi expat from GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE), you may present your national ID to perform Umrah. 

If you are an expat from one of the countries below and you hold a tourist visa: 

United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Brunei, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Australia and New Zealand.

You can perform Umrah with your tourist visa that you obtained online through Visit Saudi Arabia website, or immediately upon arrival at airports.

Otherwise, you will need to get an Umrah visa and an Umrah permit to be able to perform the minor pilgrimage.

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.