Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has launched a smartphone-based app enabling the registration of biometrics of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims seeking e-visa.
The app allows pilgrims to directly apply for the visa from anywhere in the world without approaching agents.
On registering by providing the biometrics, a visa would be issued over the mobile phone. Saudi authorities would match the biometrics provided once the pilgrim reached the kingdom.
Incidentally, Saudi Arabia has become the first country to allow biometric registration over smartphones for e-visa. The application's name and further details would be announced soon.
[Umrah or is a short duration pilgrimage to Mecca performed by Muslims. It can be undertaken at any time of the year, unlike the Hajj, which has to be carried out in the month of Dhu al Hijjah, the last month of the lunar calendar. The rites of Hajj are to be performed between the 8th and 12th day of this month. The Hajj is a mandatory or obligatory (wajib) religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime, but the Umrah is optional (sunnah).]
Travel ban on India likely to be lifted
Saudi Arabia is likely to lift the travel ban on India, included in that country's COVID 'red list', this month.
Hinting at the possible lifting of the ban, Dr Ausaf Sayeed, the Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the foreign minister of the Middle-East kingdom had mentioned it during his recent visit to India.
Saudi Arabia has recognised vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, AstraZeneca (Covishield) and Johnson & Johnson. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) likely to recognise Covaxin in two weeks, more Indians would return to work in Saudi Arabia.
Opportunities for nurses, lab technicians
Thiruvananthapuram: A private hospital in Saudi Arabia will be recruiting staff nurses (women only), cath-lab technicians, and perfusionists through NORKA Roots, the recruitment portal of the Department of Non-Resident Keralite's Affairs.
The maximum age limit for the applicant is 30.
Those interested may apply through www.norkaroots.org on or before October 20.