Visa-free Umrah for EU UK and US residents
April 25, 2024

Great News! Visa-free Umrah for EU UK and US residents

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has witnessed a transformative shift in its approach to tourism, particularly concerning pilgrimage. With a concerted effort to enhance accessibility, the Kingdom has opened its doors wider to Umrah pilgrims from around the globe. This article delves into the recent reforms and initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia to facilitate Umrah travel, especially during the peak season of Ramadan.

A Pilgrimage Transformed: Understanding Umrah

Before delving into the recent changes, it’s essential to grasp the significance of Umrah. Unlike Hajj, which has specific dates and rituals, Umrah is a pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time of the year. Its rituals, though less extensive than Hajj, hold profound spiritual significance for Muslims worldwide.

Streamlining the Umrah Process: Reforms and Initiatives

Saudi Arabia, aligning with its Vision 2030, has been actively reforming its tourism and pilgrimage sectors. These reforms aim to enhance the quality of service and overall experience for pilgrims. Let’s explore some key reforms:

1. Visa Simplification for EU, UK, and US Residents

a. Permanent Residents Exemption

Recent announcements by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah have brought forth a significant change: permanent residents of the EU, UK, and US no longer require a separate Umrah visa. This streamlined process eliminates bureaucratic hurdles, making it easier for eligible individuals to embark on their spiritual journey.

b. Nusk App Integration

To further ease the pilgrimage process, eligible candidates can now schedule their Umrah through the Nusk app, offering convenience and accessibility at their fingertips.

2. Visa-On-Arrival and Transit Visa Options

a. Enhanced Tourism Experience

The introduction of visa-on-arrival options for residents of several regions opens up avenues for a more immersive tourism experience. This inclusive policy extends even to the first-degree relatives of visa holders, fostering familial bonds and enriching the pilgrimage journey.

b. Transit Visa Flexibility

With the option to perform Umrah while holding a transit visa, travelers, especially those flying with Saudi Airlines, can seamlessly integrate their spiritual journey with their travel plans, optimizing time and resources.

Preparing for Umrah: What You Need to Know

As the number of Umrah pilgrims surges during Ramadan, it’s crucial to be well-prepared for the journey ahead. Here are some essential pointers:

1. Documentation

Ensure all necessary documents, including passports and vaccination records, are up-to-date and readily accessible.

2. Accommodations

Book accommodations well in advance, considering the heightened demand during the peak season.

3. Cultural Sensitivity

Respect local customs and traditions, adhering to dress codes and behavioral norms.


Saudi Arabia’s commitment to enhancing accessibility and convenience for Umrah pilgrims marks a significant step towards realizing its vision of becoming a global hub for religious and leisure tourism. These reforms not only streamline the pilgrimage process but also foster a more enriching and inclusive experience for pilgrims worldwide.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Who is eligible for the new Umrah visa exemption?

Permanent residents of the EU, UK, and US are eligible for the exemption.

How can I schedule my Umrah pilgrimage through the Nusk app?

Simply download the app, follow the registration process, and book your pilgrimage dates hassle-free.

Can I perform Umrah while holding a transit visa?

Yes, particularly if you’re traveling with Saudi Airlines, you can perform Umrah during your layover.

Are there any dress codes I need to adhere to during Umrah?

Yes, pilgrims are required to wear Ihram, a simple garment symbolizing purity and equality.

What are the essential rituals of Umrah?

Key rituals include wearing Ihram, performing Tawaf around the Kaaba, and walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah.

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