The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that Umrah pilgrims from Bangladesh and four other countries must provide their biometric data, including fingerprints, in order to get an electronic Umrah visa.
The four other countries are UK, Tunisia, Kuwait and Malaysia, according to a Gulf News report that quoted Saudi Arabian media.
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.
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 kingdom also released an electronic passport with a chip that stores the user’s biometrics for authentication purposes.