With millions of pilgrims visiting Makkah for Umrah, how to go to Umrah from USA becomes a common question. Umrah, the minor pilgrimage in Islam, carries immense significance in the life of every Muslim. People travel to Makkah seeking forgiveness from Allah and restoring their faith. Although, unlike Hajj, Umrah is not an obligatory pilgrimage, it is still a highly rewarding journey in Islam. Ramadan is the most popular month to carry out Umrah, while December and January are the best time to travel to Makkah.
How to go to Umrah from USA
There are two major requirements for carrying out Umrah from the USA: Visa and permit. Pilgrims can acquire their visas online or at the nearest Saudi consulate. However, after receiving the form, one must fill in accurate details for getting an Umrah Visa.
Here are some of the key requirements to apply for an Umrah Visa and permit from the USA:
- A fully completed and original Visa application with correct data. Aspirants are advised to talk to authentic travel agencies to get a visa conveniently.
- Recent color photograph in passport size on white background. The applicant should face the camera and the photograph should be clear enough to distinguish the individual easily. Tilted or side-angled photographs will be considered invalid.
- For an effective visa, the individual should have six months of a valid passport at the time of submitting the application.
- They should have confirmed flight tickets to Saudi Arabia and back within 2 weeks
- Vaccination certificates against the diseases like Yellow fever, polio, Meningococcal Meningitis. The certificates should at least be 10 days old before the journey and should not exceed a maximum of 3 years
- Female applicants must provide relationship certificates such as marriage certificates, birth certificates with names of parents, etc., for traveling with a male companion.
- Pilgrims should obtain their permits to visit Masjid Al Haram for Umrah from mobile applications like Tawakklna or the Saudi Consulate.
Umrah without mahram rules:
- The female pilgrim should be above 45 of age and should produce a no-objection certificate signed by her family to give permission to travel in a group.
- She will not be allowed to perform Ramal. It is a ritual that involves an individual running at a medium pace in Tawaf and laps of Saee and Marwa.
- While the holy Kaaba may be crowded at times, she must remain at a safe distance from strangers and particularly men.
- Females without Mahram, unlike men, are not allowed to recite Talbiyah aloud.
- Such pilgrims should not deliberately or unintentionally grab the attention of strangers; hence, cover themselves with appropriate non-revealing clothes.
- They should not initiate or hold a conversation with strangers other than the individuals in their group.
How to reach Makkah from USA
Pilgrims traveling from the USA can book a flight to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. In addition, Pilgrims can use the airport shuttle service offered by various hotels for their guests or can book a cab to Makkah. Further, they can take public transport like intercity buses to conveniently reach the pilgrimage site. However, they provide full security services from USA to Makkah!
Hotels and restaurants near Masjid Al Haram
There are numerous 5 star, 4 star and budget hotels near the holy Kaaba, providing easy access to Masjid al-Haram. These hotels offer Arabian hospitality and impart effective services for the pilgrims. Some popular stays include Park Inn By Radisson Makkah Aziziyah, Millennium Makkah Al Naseem, Dana Al Taj, and Jawad Al Taj Hotel. Additionally, the hotels are close to many famous eateries serving delicious food from Arabian and international cuisine.
Important ziyarat sites in Makkah
Pilgrims traveling to Makkah for Umrah can also visit popular ziyarat sites to make the pilgrimage all more spiritual. One can go to Aisha mosque where Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife assumed Ihram, Jabal al Nour, where the Prophet recieved the first revelation of the Holy Quran and cave in Jabal Al thawr.
Aspirants searching for the best tips on how to go to Umrah for the USA should contact trustworthy and authorized travel agencies. This will help an individual plan a comfortable journey and solely focus on the pilgrimage itself. One should also book flights and hotels in advance as the demand can drastically surge at any time of the year, especially in Ramadan. They should pack clothes and other essentials, keeping the weather and sensibilities of Saudi Arabia in mind. In addition, people travel from around the world to perform Umrah; hence one must remain considerate towards other pilgrims and respect their origin.
Here is the list of the best Makkah Hotels