So for the past few weeks I have been getting 10 emails a day with regards to the new Umrah fees and the opening of the Umrah season. There are so many speculations out there that it’s crazy.
We know a few things for sure. Saudi needs the money (see falling oil prices) and one way to find that money is to raise the fees on all their visas. Not only Umrah but other visitor and business visas. The hike on all of these is quite astonishing considering that the jump is massive and it can affect a large number of pilgrims as well as expats living in the country; plus of course businesses.
The Umrah visa fees are up to £400 per person per visa, free for the first timer. One thing that is not clear and still we don’t know for sure is whether this rule will be enforced for every single visa. I have received two documents one stating that Umrah visa is free (standard price) once per year and the second document states that it is payable for every visit except the first Umrah ever.
I agree with the first rule, free for the first time per year and then payable because if you can afford to go a second time in a year then most likely you can afford the fees. Last year we did go twice and I see that it’s a privilege rather than an option for many.
Do I agree with the hike in prices? No definitely not, but this is a post on its own once we know for sure what is happening. At the moment everything is speculation. Sources say they might keep it and other than that this rule might be removed. I guess keep making dua for it to be removed so we can actually afford to go. Otherwise, I can see even middle-class families struggling.
For the moment, everything is in the air, so I will take fees, and options with a pinch of salt until the season is open.
Umrah visa starts on the 5th of November as of now.
Note that visas will start be issued and can take about 10 days. If you are planning an Umrah don’t forget you can receive 10% discount (visa feee) for those in the UK from Prince Visa just by quoting “MuslimTravelGirl” when you ring up.
That has potentially a big saving on fees. I don’t receive a commission but I would appreciate a dua from you when you go for Umrah. 🙂