Friday 4 March 2016

How do I get an Umrah Visa? - A Guide for Canadians

How do I get an Umrah Visa for 1437 H / 2016?
A Guide For Canadians

So you've taken advantage of a deal and booked your flight to Saudi Arabia, so, now what?

Say Bismillah, take a deep breath, this guide will help you through what's needed to get that visa!

To apply for an Umrah Visa, as of 2014, the Saudi Embassy (in Ottawa) requires that you apply through an authorized travel agent. The Embassy will no longer honour direct applications.

The requirements for an Umrah might be overwhelming, so we've written down the requirements that most agents will need for you to be eligible.

TIP: Rule of Thumb
Apply at least 14 business days in advance, although at least 1 month in advance is recommended
Apply through an authorized agent listed on the Saudi Embassy website
IMPORTANT: If a travel agent is not listed on the Saudi Embassy website, do not consider them as they are not licensed to process Umrah Visas

TIP: Click here for the Official List of Authorized Travel Agents authorized to issue Umrah Visas


Requirements for Obtaining an Umrah Visa

Original passport (not photocopy) which is valid for at least 6 months after the date of the departure
Original 2 coloured passport size photos on a white background, dimensions are 50 mm wide X 70 mm height
Original and copy of the Meningitis ACYW135 vaccine, you must have had this vaccine within three years of the date of the departure, and no later
TIP: If you live in the GTA, we recommend this travel clinic in Markham or Brampton that provides this vaccine and accompanying documentation
- Copy of the Confirmed flight ticketCopy of the Hotel or accommodation reservation (please read more on the sections below)
- Original and copy of the Umrah Visa application form (provided by the Umrah Visa issuing agent)
Any additional documents listed in the additional requirements (refer to SECTION E)
- As the Saudi Embassy requires that you go through an authorized travel agent, there will be fees paid to the agent to process your application.
- The Visa component is "free", however processing and courier fees are collected by the agent for their time to process your application.
- The agents' processing and courier fees ranges between $80 CAD to $250 CAD dependent on the travel agent.
TIP: We recommend Falcon Travel with offices located in Toronto ON, London ON, Quebec QC.
- Umrah Visas are issued from the 1st of Rabi' al-awwal till the 15th of Ramadan
Your date of return must be prior to the last day of Ramadan
Your length of stay must be of maximum 2 weeks / 14 days from the date of entry
- Umrah Visas are issued for 1 month validity, however your itinerary must show you are only staying for 14 days
Port of entry must be in Jeddah or Madinah, such that you are landing and returning from King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) or Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport (MED)
Confirmed flight ticket must shows both inbound and outbound from either the two airports listed, flight ticket must show the full name, itinerary, and booking reference / ticket number
- A hotel or accommodation reservation is required and must show the full name of the travellers, check in and check out dates, hotel name, hotel address
- The hotel reservation can be made directly with any online websites such as Kayak, Expedia, Priceline, Agoda, etc
- Please note that some of the authorized travel agents can still issue you an Umrah Visa without having to pre-book your hotel. Arrange it with your Umrah Visa issuing agent so you have more time researching for a good hotel
TIP: Our recommendation is to look for a hotel online, get a quote with taxes/fees included, note it down but don't book. Once you have written it down the hotel name, dates, and the quote, ask your Umrah Visa issuing agent to price match
Additional requirements for Permanent Residents or Foreign Passport holders
- Valid Permanent Resident card
Additional requirements for converts/reverts or Muslims with non-Muslim names
- Original and copy of a Shahadah Certificate issued by an Islamic Centre
Additional requirements for children below 18
- They must be accompanied in the same itinerary with their mahram, a notarized copy of their birth certificate that shows their parents names
Additional requirements for Females below 45
- If you are traveling with your husband, you must provide a notarized copy of your marriage certificate (issued by your municipality). A marriage license (the one you obtain prior to getting married) is not valid. An Islamic nikah contract is also not valid
- If you are traveling with your father, you must provide a notarized copy of your birth certificate that shows your parents names
- If you are traveling with your brother, you must provide a notarized copy of your birth certificate that shows your parents names. Your brother must also provide a notarized copy of his birth certificate with your parents names
- If you are traveling alone without any mahram, you will need to contact an authorized agent to provide you some alternatives
Additional requirements for Females 45 or older
- If you are traveling alone without any mahram, you will need to contact an authorized agent to provide you some alternatives
TIP: Processing time is minimum of 14 business days, you should however submit your application at least 1 month prior to your departure to avoid any delays
Click here for the Official List of Authorized Travel Agents authorized to issue Umrah Visas

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