Pilgrims from the UK, Tunisia, Kuwait, Malaysia and Bangladesh can now apply for visas electronically
Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow the registration of phsyical features as a "biosignature" to complete electronic Umrah visa applications for religious tourists prior to their arrival in Makkah and Madinah.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah explained that the "biosignature" registration process should be completed through the Saudi Visa Bio smartphone application by self-registration of the characteristics.
The the registration of the biosignature uses faces, eyes and fingers, and a passport copy is also collected during the application.
The system enables Umrah visa applicants to register vital characteristics electronically without the need to visit the embassies and consulates, in a bid to facilitate their entry through all Saudi border crossings with less time and effort.
The registration of vital features on the app is carried out through four steps, including automated reading of the passport, identification of the type of visa, taking a photo of the applicant's face and recording fingerprints.
The move makes Saudi Arabia the first country to use the registration of vital features for visa applications via smartphones.
For more information, visit www.haj.gov.sa