Umrah pilgrims from five countries including Bangladesh must provide their biometric data, including ‘fingerprints’ in order to get an electronic Umrah visa, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced.
The four other countries are the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Kuwait and Malaysia.
Interested pilgrims will have to use the Saudi Visa Bio app that allows for visa registration via fingerprints and selfie biometrics to attend significant Muslim pilgrimages, reports The Gulf News.
The new app delivers on a commitment made by the Saudi government late last year to allow biometrics enrolment through mobile devices so pilgrims to Mecca can avoid visiting visa centres in person, and makes the country one of the first in the world to accept biometrics by mobile for visa issuance.
In February 2022, the KSA released an electronic passport with a chip that stores the user’s biometrics for authentication purposes.