Indian pilgrims heading for the Haj and Umrah will not be affected by the visa fee hike imposed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, the chairman of the Haj Committee of India.
He was quoted by Saudi Gazette as telling it that Indians would not be adversely impacted by the visa fee hike as 90 percent of them going to the Haj would be first-time visitors to that ritual.
Starting from 2 October, the Saudi government implemented a revised visa fee scheme for religious visitors who were not first-time Hajis.
Kaiser was in the Arab country to hold an initial round of discussions with officials from the Indian mission and building owners of Saudi Arabia with regard to Haj arrangements
Although he felt that the SR2, 000, or INR36, 575, visa fee was quite heavy, he said that as it was the Saudi government’s decision, Indian visitors would have to respect it
The test is to pare the Haj cost taking into consideration the gradual withdrawal of airfares subsidy and rupee’s depreciation vis-à-vis the Saudi riyal, said Kaiser.
If you are interested in visiting Saudi Arabia, approach Y-Axis to avail counselling to file for a visa from one of its 19 offices spread all over India.