I receive a lot of emails asking me this question. So I decided to do an FAQ to help you out. In my book I do recommend one for the UK which I used, however there is another way to find information with regards to Umrah visas.
The best way to find reliable and approved Umrah visa agents is the respective Saudi embassy of your country. Saudi Arabia and every country have their own embassy website with information regarding that particular country.
Under their Umrah visa section, they will have the names of the approved agents in this country that you can contact. This is the shortest and best way to find an agent that you know will be able to deliver and that has already been vetted by the Hajj and Umrah ministry.
This applies to all countries. You will have to find the website for your respective country and research it. Saudi embassy websites are not the best-designed websites and expect they might crash, however it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.
If you want to find the details for agents in the UK and US then you will have to Google them sadly. For some reason when the UK-Saudi embassy changed their page they removed their link.
It is also important to note a few things:
- Usually, the agents will try and convince you that they cannot issue only visas. This is not the case and you shouldn’t give up. You don’t have to take a package in order to perform Umrah. This is where agents make money and they will try and sell you their packages first.
- A client and a friend recently used one of the agents in the US and it turned out that they received their visas only a day before their flight! Apparently many agencies do this in the US and they work on the most urgent cases first. For me, this is too risky and I would keep in contact with the agency. In the UK I have used Prince Visa and they sent me my visa 2 weeks in advance which was brilliant as it was one less thing to worry about. If you are in the UK you can receive 15% discount on your next Umrah visa by quoting ‘MuslimTravelGirl’ when you book with Prince Visa.
- You don’t have to send your passport more than 3-4 weeks in advance since your visa countdown starts from the day it is stamped and it’s valid for 30 days or 14 days during Ramadan.
- Visa prices are very volatile and it really depends on the time of the year. During Ramadan, they cost £300, which is crazy in my opinion. However, off-peak they should cost £100-150/$200-$300 maximum. If they quote higher prices then check with other agencies.