From the news desk

Hajj and Umrah visas now electronic

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All visas from the Saudi embassy will now be in an electronic format. This was the decision announced at a meeting between role players in the haj and umrah industry, airlines and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Royal Saudi Embassy in Pretoria today. In a statement, the South African Haj and Umrah Council (Sahuc) announced that the embassy has done away with the hard copy visa and is going paperless.

The process of submitting the passport remains the same. All applications for haj and umrah visas must be submitted to the accredited operators only for submission to the Saudi Embassy.

“The ministry envisages to have a more efficient turnaround time for issuing visas together with enhancing security features,” said Sahuc secretary general Moaaz Casoo.

The South African Muslim Travel Association (Samta) said this rule will not affect those who currently have a valid visa in their passport.

“The process of submission by the travel agent remains unchanged,” said Samta. VOC

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