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Tips on how to read and understand your Umrah visa

Recently they had been few cases brought to my attention about people being refused entry to Saudi because ground staff miss-interpreted the validity of their visas. This has also happened even with people reading their visa and assuming they will have 30 days in the country or getting confused on when their visa expires.

Since I always try to make sure we get the most up to date and accurate information on Umrah visas and Umrah, in general, I asked the experts to tell me how you can read your Umrah visa.

I have asked Prince Visa to clarify exactly how many days you can have in Saudi and when you have to leave in order to make sure that your visa is not expired. You don’t want to be going to the airport and missing it all.

One more thing I would like to note is the fact that many try to “play the system” and either book or extend their stay above the norm. I don’t support and never encourage such things because at the end the Saudi government will make the rules stricter and it will affect everyone. Play by the rules so we all can enjoy a great Umrah! 

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Although there are various interpretations in the market with regards to when one should enter and how long can one actually stay, there are no real published guidelines by the embassy on the matter. Even if you call you will get mixed information, so it is always best to stick with those who have experience in the matter.

How long is the visa valid for?

30 Days

How long can I stay? 

14 days

How long do I have to enter KSA from the date of issuance?

Although the visa states 30 days, it is advisable to enter within 28 days as we are considering the Islamic calendar and not the Georgian calendar.

How long can I stay from the date that I enter?

14 days maximum from the date of entry.

My visa says 30 days of stay is allowed.. why do you say 14?

That is correct but you cannot stay more than 14 days without violating of Umrah rules.

You allow a 30 day stay in Ramadhan..why?

No, we don’t. Logistically it’s impossible to implement the rule and therefore a blind eye is taken to it but the rule remains the same in Ramadhan too. It’s just understood by the sponsors and the Ministry that this rule won’t be followed due to various factors and therefore one is not penalised for it.

Can I enter on the last day of validity of my visa and stay another 15 days?

We recommend that you enter within 28 days of the validity of your visa and stay a maximum of 14 days to be safe.

What are the penalties for overstaying the 15 days?

No penalties are levied by the Ministry of Hajj but your Umrah sponsor can fine your UK agent.

What if I stay more than 30 days?

You are liable to a fine of more than 10000 SAR and will be blacklisted.

Has anyone ever been backlisted?

Many people are facing difficulty in travelling back because they stayed 31 or 32 days in the kingdom. When applying for their approvals, we get a message.

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Yes, it’s great to outsmart the system but at the end they will catch up and change the rules. You don’t want to be blacklisted and never able to go to the house of Allah again. We don’t want to make it harder for people to go for Umrah just because of a minority.

I don’t entertain the requests when I am asked if you can simply cancel your hotel and stay in the masjid. This is the reason why now they need non-refundable hotels and flights.

So be nice and enjoy Umrah insha’Allah (God willing).

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