Can I travel to Saudi Arabia with an e-Visa during the Hajj?

The latest directives from the Saudi General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) specify the conditions for obtaining visas for the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Passengers arriving in Djeddah (Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport) and Medina (Medina Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport) during the month of Hajj can only use the following visa categories:

  • Hajj visas (only accepted at these two airports)
  • GCC members include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
  • Business visas
  • Medical visas

Holders of e-Visas, tourist visas, visit visas or Umrah visas will not be allowed to board airlines serving these destinations during this period. No visa will therefore be issued on arrival.

e-Visa holders can always arrive at another airport.

What does the hajj mean?

One of the five pillars of Islam is the hajj, a religious pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Every Muslim who is physically and financially able to make it must do so at least once in his or her life. The hajj takes place during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar, once a year.

The number of pilgrims generally reaches 2 to 3 million each year. The Great Mosque of Mecca, also known as the Masjid al-Haram, is the largest mosque in the world. It can accommodate up to 4 million people during the Hajj period.

The largest groups of pilgrims generally come from countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Many pilgrims also come from Africa, Europe, North America and South America.