Saudi Arabia warns against use of illegal visas for Hajj

By Fatima Hassan, Makkah

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The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has warned against participating in the sacred pilgrimage without a valid Hajj visa. 

The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior stipulated a penalty of deportation and a fine of 10,000SR on anyone caught performing Hajj without the authorized Hajj permit.

Assistant Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Hajj Commission (NAHCON), Fatima Usara, said in a statement that a similar message has been received by NAHCON through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Araba Abuja, disclosing the stand of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars on the issue.

They said the Council issued a Fatwa which is a legal ruling given by a recognized religious authority to the Muslim Ummah emphasizing the prohibition of performing Hajj without a permit.

The letter stated in part that, “The Council in its Fatwa, urged pilgrims to adhere to rules and regulations, aimed at enabling Muslims to perform the Hajj in safety and tranquility.”

However, NAHCON had issued several warnings in the past against Nigerians falling into the bait of scammers making so many job offers for the pilgrimage season.

In the same letter received by NAHCON on May 22nd, 2024, the Saudi Ministry of Interior similarly advised persons against “becoming victims of the several fictitious companies and fake accounts on social media who claim to be agents/ authorities to facilitate Hajj using Umrah, Tourism, Work, Family Visit and other types of Visa at attractive rates.”

The Assistant Director in charge of Tour Operators Unit, Ahmad Shira, has since shared the contents of the message with all licensed Hajj and Umrah operators from the public and private sectors.

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