Saudi authorities have announced that anyone with a valid Schengen visa will be allowed to perform Umrah without having to obtain a Saudi visa first.
The move means that everyone who has a valid Schengen visa can now receive a tourist visa upon arrival in Saudi Arabia, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah explains that people entering the country are still required to abide by coronavirus restrictions. All people must wear a face mask while performing Ukrah in the Grand Mosque.
“The ministry shows that wearing a mask when performing Umrah in the Grand Mosque is always required”the statement from the Saudi ministry said.
In addition to Schengen visa holders, authorities explained that those holding a valid US or UK visa can also enter under the same simplified rules as those holding a Schengen visa. This means that US or UK visa holders are also eligible for the visa on arrival program.
Before entering Saudi Arabia, Schengen, UK and US visa holders must also comply with other rules.
The Umrah permit of those who do not enter Saudi Arabia within a maximum of six hours of making the appointment will be revoked. In addition, the appointment will also be canceled if a person has tested positive for the coronavirus before entering or has been in contact with an infected person.
A Schengen visa allows its holders to visit several other countries that are not part of the European Union or the Schengen area as long as it is a multiple entry visa.
A total of 18 non-EU/Schengen countries currently allow entry to persons with a valid Schengen visa.