Labbayka Allahumma Umrah! Muslims worldwide yearn to follow the Prophet’s (PBUH) footsteps and perform Umrah. Here’s everything you need to know to obtain your Umrah visa from France.
French citizens will need a visa to travel to Saudi. Thankfully, iVisa offers an online tourist e-Visa to residents of France that can be used to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.
Our online process is simple and secure and will save you the aggravation of going to the embassy or consulate to get your visa. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa options for French citizens.
What is Umrah, and why is it important to Muslims?
The Umrah journey is an Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, similar to Hajj. However, unlike the Hajj, which has specific dates and rituals that must be followed, Umrah can be performed at any time of the year. The process of Umrah involves visiting the Kaaba and performing tawaf and Sa’y between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah.
Umrah is significant in Islam due to its spiritual and religious value. It is considered a way for Muslims to purify their souls and seek forgiveness for their sins. It is also a way to demonstrate devotion to Allah and to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who performed the Umrah four times during his lifetime.
Anyone planning to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Umrah must have a valid Umrah visa.
Umrah Visa: What is it, and why do you need it?
The Umrah visa is a travel document issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), allowing you to enter Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.
Please note: This visa cannot be used to perform Hajj. A separate Hajj Visa is required during this period. The visa also does not allow activities like studying.
Who needs a Saudi Umrah Visa
Citizens of four countries can travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visa-free. This includes Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and the UAE.
Nationals of all other countries will have to apply for a visa to enter the KSA. They can apply online for an e-visa, which can be done anytime and from anywhere in the world.
In addition, from April 2022 onwards, the Government of Saudi Arabia further relaxed its visa policies. Valid US, UK, or Schengen visa holders can visit the Kingdom and perform Umrah without applying for an Umrah visa separately.
Saudi Arabia Umrah visa for French citizens
Citizens of France planning to visit Saudi Arabia for Umrah are required to obtain an Umrah visa. The process for obtaining an Umrah visa from France varies depending on the type of Umrah visa you want to get.
Saudi Arabia Visa options for French citizens for Umrah
French Citizens have four different Saudi Arabia Visa options that allow them to perform Umrah. They are:
Saudi Arabia eVisa or Saudi Arabia Online Visa for Umrah, which is an Umrah-specific visa you apply for online via the Saudi Arabia Nusuk website.
Visa on Arrival
Visa through package obtained by booking a package online through one of the approved service providers or through local travel agencies approved to book Umrah packages
The Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa, which you can apply for through iVisa.
What is the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa?
The new Tourist Visa, also known as the Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa, allows you to participate in tourism-related activities. This includes attending events, visiting family and relatives, leisure, and even performing Umrah (excluding Hajj) if you are Muslim.
With this visa, you can visit the holy cities of Jeddah, Makkah (Mecca), and Medina. Take into consideration that Muslims can only visit Makkah and Medina.
Please note: Using this visa to perform Hajj is impossible. A separate Hajj Visa is required during this period. The visa also does not allow activities like studying.
The difference between the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa and the Saudi Arabia Umrah Visa?
It is important to note that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offers a separate Umrah Visa. This visa provides Umrah pilgrims certain perks they will not get when traveling on tourist visas. For instance, those with an Umrah-specific visa may leave the country with ZamZam, while those on a tourist visa may not.
Other differences include that the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa is a Multiple Entry visa that anyone of any religion can apply for. In contrast, the electronic Umrah visa is a single entry visa only issued to Muslims for the sole purpose of performing Umrah.
Saudi authorities also have vastly different requirements for each visa. Foreign pilgrims from forty-nine countries can travel to Saudi Arabia and perform the religious pilgrimage on a tourist eVisa. On the other hand, travelers from anywhere in the world can apply for the Umrah Visa.
Unfortunately, iVisa does not offer an Umrah-specific visa currently due to the rigorous Umrah visa requirements. You can check your eligibility for the Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa with our Visa Checker Tool.
Suppose you do not qualify for the Tourist Visa and require the Umrah e-Visa instead. In that case, we suggest speaking to your local agent or Hajj and Umrah representatives for more guidance on the stringent application process.
Essential travel requirements for French citizens going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah?
If you are a French citizen planning to travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, there are several essential travel requirements that you will need:
A valid visa to enter Saudi Arabia. You can apply for a visa through the Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate in France.
An Umrah permit, which is issued by the Saudi Arabian government. This permit can be obtained through the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah website or a licensed travel agent.
Travel insurance before your trip to cover any unforeseen circumstances.
You can ensure a safe and smooth trip to Saudi Arabia for Umrah by obtaining these essential travel requirements.
Steps to apply for an Umrah visa from France
For Umrah pilgrims who are eligible to apply for a Saudi Arabia tourist visa, let iVisa help you take the guesswork out of the visa application process with our easy visa application. It can be completed in minutes from your home or office with these three simple steps:
Step 1: Provide basic information about yourself in the application form and your trip, and choose your preferred processing time.
Step 2: Check for all information, and pay for the Saudi Arabia e-Visa Fees using a credit or debit card. Step 3: Finally, add any required documents, if needed, and click ‘Submit.’
Then sit back as we process the application on your behalf. The approved visa confirmation will be emailed to you.
Your e-Visa for Saudi Arabia expires 1 year after issued. Your maximum stay in Saudi Arabia is 90 days in Total.
Reasons to use iVisa to apply for the Saudi Arabia eVisa from France
Saudi Arabia is a popular destination for travelers as well as religious pilgrims. Whatever the reason for your trip, let us help you get the most out of your journey by taking the guesswork out of the visa application process for you with our easy e-Visa application. Within minutes, you can complete the process from your home or office.
Processing, cost, and approval of the Saudi Arabia e-Visa
The waiting period for your Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa will depend on your country of origin and the speed of processing you choose.
We currently offer three processing options. The processing option you choose will also affect the cost. French nationals can expect to pay about:
Standard processing will take 5 days and costs USD $213.99.
Rush processing will take 3 days and costs USD $273.99.
Super Rush takes 24 hours and costs USD $341.99.
The cost is made up of iVisa’s processing fee as well as the USD 144 government application fee.
Timeline for Umrah-specific visa processing and approval for French citizens
The timeline for processing and approval of a Saudi Arabia Umrah-specific Visa can vary depending on several factors, including the country of origin and the type of visa applied for.
For French citizens applying for an Umrah visa, the processing time can take around 10-14 days, though this may vary depending on individual circumstances.
It is recommended that applicants apply for the visa well in advance of their intended travel dates to avoid any potential delays or issues.
It is also important to note that during peak Umrah seasons, such as Ramadan, the processing time may be longer than usual due to the high volume of applications.
When should I apply for the Saudi Arabia eVisa?
Those intending to perform Umrah, explore the holy city, and enjoy other tourism opportunities are advised to apply for their Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa at least 24 hours before their trip to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa requirements
Make sure to gather these documents before applying for your e-Visa:
National ID Card or Birth Certificate - You must show your identity with your government's official document.
Travel Authorization from Employer or School - You need a letter or a statement from your host indicating the reason for your stay.
Applicant Photo - A recent color passport photo works best. If you do not have one, you can use our photo service to get new pictures done from the comfort of your home.
Valid Passport Personal Details Scan - Scan your passport bio page. You must have six months of validity left from the day you plan to enter Saudi Arabia.
Proof of Accommodation - Prove you have a place to stay while you are in the country.
Bank Statement - Show customs officials you have the money to pay for your trip.
Vaccinations - If you come from a country with a high risk of yellow fever, you will need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to reach Saudi Arabia.
Onward Ticket - Show that you have a departure ticket to leave Saudi Arabia.
How often can I enter Saudi Arabia with a Tourist e-Visa?
The Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa is a Multiple Entry visa. Thus, you can enter the country as often as you want within a year. Each stay can be up to 90 days in Total.
Validity of a Saudi Arabia Tourist eVisa
Your e-Visa for Saudi Arabia expires 1 year after issued. Your maximum stay in Saudi Arabia is 90 days in Total.
Common reasons for Umrah visa rejection and how to avoid them
If you are applying for an Umrah visa to Saudi Arabia, it is important to be aware of the common reasons for visa rejection to prevent them. Some of the common reasons for Umrah visa rejection are:
Incomplete or incorrect information: If you provide incomplete or inaccurate information on your visa application, your application will likely be rejected. Make sure to complete and complete the application form, and double-check all information before submitting.
Travel history: If you have previously traveled to countries considered a security risk by Saudi Arabia, your Umrah visa may be rejected. Check the list of restricted countries and ensure you have not recently traveled to any of them.
Passport validity: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your intended arrival in Saudi Arabia. If your passport is set to expire soon, your Umrah visa may be rejected.
Health reasons: Your Umrah visa may be rejected if you have a history of certain illnesses. Ensure to provide all necessary medical information and obtain any required vaccinations or certificates.
Criminal record: If you have a criminal record or have been previously deported from Saudi Arabia, your Umrah visa may be rejected.
To avoid Umrah visa rejection, provide all required information accurately and completely, ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your intended arrival date, and avoid travel to restricted countries.
It is also essential to follow all Saudi Arabian laws and regulations, including dress code and respect for local customs, to avoid any issues during your stay in the country.
What to do if your Umrah visa is rejected
Review the reason for rejection: Carefully review the reason for the refusal provided by the Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate. This will help you understand why your application was rejected and what you can do to rectify the issue.
**Reapply: If the reason for rejection was due to incomplete or incorrect information on your application, you could reapply with the correct information. Carefully review the application form and ensure all information is accurate and complete before submitting again.
Appeal: If you believe your Umrah visa was unfairly rejected, you may be able to appeal the decision. Contact the Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate for more information on the appeals process.
Seek assistance from a travel agent: If you have difficulty obtaining an Umrah visa alone, you may want assistance from a licensed travel agent. They can help you navigate the application process and may have more success in obtaining a visa for you.
If you applied for a Tourist eVisa to perform Umrah, you can apply again for a Saudi Arabia eVisa. However, ensure you fill out the online form with accurate personal data and travel details, as mistakes or incorrect information may result in another rejected application.
Our iVisa experts review all applications and documentation to help you avoid rejections. If government officials find any errors and reject your application, iVisa will refund the iVisa processing fee.
Note: Government fees will not be refunded.
What to expect during your Umrah journey
Embarking on an Umrah journey is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. The holy cities of Mecca and Medina are steeped in rich heritage and are home to some of the most sacred sites in Islamic history.
As visitors to Saudi Arabia, Umrah pilgrims can expect to encounter the warm hospitality and the welcoming nature of the Saudi people. The locals are known for their friendliness and generosity towards visitors and are always happy to share their vibrant culture and traditions with tourists.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has significantly promoted tourism and attracted visitors worldwide. This includes allowing tourists to explore previously restricted areas, such as the ancient city of Al-Ula, and opening up new tourist attractions, such as the futuristic city of Neom. As a result, Umrah pilgrims can expect access to a wide range of experiences and activities during their journey.
Overall, an Umrah journey to Saudi Arabia is a unique opportunity to connect with Islamic history, experience the warm hospitality of the Saudi people, and explore this fascinating country's vibrant culture and traditions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer service team, who are available 24/7 online, or email us at [email protected].
We hope you have a great time in Saudi Arabia!