By Maryam Garba Hassan
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has announced that this year Nigeria’s intending pilgrims will get their Visa through e_ Visa system.
A statement issued by the Commission’s Head, Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, in Abuja stated this.
The statement said this is in contrast to the previous years where intending pilgrims undergo physical screening at the Saudi embassies.
With this new development,
the Saudi Arabian authorities, through the e-visa system have simplified visa processing for 2019 Hajj season, the statement added.
It would be recalled that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah gave directives informing of the laudable new e-visa processing system that does not require intending pilgrims to undergo any physical screening in Saudi embassies.
According to the statement, under this arrangement, the intending pilgrim’s visa will spontaneously be administered upon completion of Hajj fare payment on the e-portal.
It further said once the payment is completed the next move is for the visa applicant to proceed to a café to print out the visa document in wait for his/her scheduled flight for the pilgrimage.
The statement added that with respect to Nigerian pilgrims, their respective state pilgrims’ boards print out the visas on behalf of their pilgrims, a procedure that has been stress-free thus far with a considerable number of visas already processed.
The statement further said that visas are administered within hours of making full payments therefore creating a leeway for one to pay and get his/her visa ready hours before closure of Hajj e-portal for this year’s Hajj which deadline is 15th of July 2019.
The Commission has however, cautioned intending pilgrims to safeguard their visa slips and other travel documents conscientiously to forestall anyone missing his/her chance of participating this year’s Hajj as the Saudi Arabian authorities will not honour entry of anyone with incomplete travel documents into the Kingdom for any reason.
It said the visa slip is in paper form, which may easily be destroyed by wetness, therefore, the Commission recommends extra care in handling travel documents to Hajj 2019.