Which Muslim amongst us would not dream of completing the major pilgrimage known as Hajj? Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage that is made to Mecca and a religious duty for Muslims which is mandatory, at least once in their lifetime. This is only applicable to adult Muslims who are financially and physically capable to undertake the journey. The Muslim must also be able to support their family while performing the pilgrimage, and not spend all their money on the pilgrimage. However when a Muslim from any other country wants to perform Hajj he must absolutely has his passport at all times.
One of our readers had recently posted that he was on a 3 month working visa in the Kingdom,however his company had not secured his iqama as of yet. An iqama is a permanent residence for anexpatriate working in the Kingdom. Although this issue is not as pressing as it sounds to be, the reader claims that due to the short time left for the pilgrimage, he is worried that if his passport (with the iqama) is not given back to him in time before Hajj, he might not be able to find an accommodation for his pilgrimage in any of the hotels.The reader is asking if there is any other option for travelling inside the Kingdom without the passport. He is also inquiring about the fact if the hotels in Dammam would allow him to book a room, with only the photocopy of his passport and visa. He does not want to miss out the once in a life time opportunity, by being stuck in Riyadh.
Another reader, who has responded to his queries, asked the reader if he had the passport with him, as it is the only form of identification which is recognized in Saudi Arabia. The responder suggests that to ask the readers company to make a booking under his name, as most corporate clients get added discounts and benefits in most hotels. However the original reader who posted this query has stated that he does not have the passport as it is with the Labor Department awaiting the iqama. He is only in possession of the photocopy of his passport and is wondering if he will actually be able to book a hotel room.
Another reader states that the company was responsible to provide their employee with a temporary iqama which is basically a letter from your company, stating your job and personal details, attached to a copy of your passport. However westerners can usually get by just with a copy of their passport.
Another reader has stated that in order to perform the pilgrimage, one must apply for the Hajj Permit. Without which entry into Makkah during Hajj time will be barred to all others without the Hajj visa. However no other cities in the Kingdom ban entry during Hajj time, and all other cities can be accessed without a Hajj visa. We have explained the procedure to get Hajj Permit in this link “Procedure to Apply for Hajj in Saudi Arabia”
Hajj and Umrah
- Check Eligibility for Hajj through MOI
- Procedure to Apply for Hajj in Saudi Arabia
- List of Approved Hajj Agents in Saudi Arabia
- Authorized Cities to Travel for Umrah/Hajj Visitors
- Guidelines for Pilgrims of Saudi Arabia