Saudi Arabia cancels ‘Host Umrah’ scheme
Saudi Arabia has canceled the ‘Host Umrah’ scheme, which enabled Saudi citizens and expatriates to bring in and host three to five foreign pilgrims to perform Umrah.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Hisham Bin Saeed, spokesman of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said that the project has been canceled and will not be implemented. The ministry started implementing this project three years ago.
Under the scheme, a citizen can host any Muslim from outside the Kingdom while expatriates can host their first-degree relatives to perform the Umrah pilgrimage. The ministry will issue visas to citizens based on their civil registry while foreign residents through their residency permit (iqama).
The scheme required citizens and residents to take care of and serve those who have been hosted to the Kingdom to perform Umrah until their departure, with the possibility of repeating the hosting process three times a year.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced earlier that it had canceled the Umrah host visa while noting that it would announce through its official channels if there are any new developments in this regard.