By Ahmed Ubandoma
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says the Saudi Arabian authorities has simplified visa processing for 2019 hajj season through its e-visa.
The head of Public Affairs Division of NAHCON, Fatima Usara, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Usara said the introduction of the new system of processing and obtaining e-Visa does not require intending pilgrims to undergo any physical screening in Saudi embassies which was in contrast to the 2018 hajj.
”Under this arrangement, the intending pilgrim’s visa will spontaneously be administered upon completion of Hajj fare payment on the e-portal.
”The next move is for the visa applicant to proceed to a café to print out the visa document and wait for his/her scheduled flight for the pilgrimage. With respect to Nigerian pilgrims, their respective state pilgrims’ boards print out the visas on behalf of their pilgrims,” the statement explained.
”This procedure has been stress-free thus far with a considerable number of visas already processed. 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 2019 Hajj, deadline for this being 15th of July 2019.”
She therefore cautioned intending pilgrims to safeguard their visa slips and other travel documents.
”NAHCON cautions intending pilgrims to safeguard their visa slips and other travel documents conscientiously to forestall anyone missing his/her chance of participating in 2019 Hajj. This is because Saudi Arabian authorities will not honour entry of anyone with incomplete travel documents into the Kingdom for any reason.
”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,” she said.