Zimbabweans have been temporarily banned from travelling to Saudi Arabia.
The development comes after Zimbabweans who obtained visas through an unauthorised travel agent exceeded their permitted stay in the country.
Investigation Launched by Saudi Ministry
According to a statement from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia, an investigation has been launched into the matter. The ministry emphasised that depending on the outcome of the investigation, Zimbabweans might encounter more restrictions when applying for visas to Saudi Arabia in the future.
At the time of writing, the Saudi government has not provided additional details. Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has yet to comment on the situation.
Statement Explaining Why Saudi Arabia Banned Zimbabweans
We present the full statement announcing that Zimbabweans are banned from travelling to Saudi Arabia until further notice below:
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia has unfortunately suspended the issuing of Umrah Visas for Zimbabwe Passport Holders due to certain individuals having breached Visa regulations by overstaying in Saudi Arabia.
These individuals were NOT clients of the ZIMHUC-approved Travel Agent in Zimbabwe.
The issuing of Umrah Visas had recently been decentralised by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia, allowing Umrah Visas to be issued for Zimbabweans by virtual agents in other countries. This policy resulted in virtual agents in other countries issuing Umrah Visas for Zimbabweans.
Effectively due to the decentralisation policy, the Umrah Visa and related matters for Zimbabweans is no longer solely under the control of ZIMHUC and our approved Travel Agent in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe remains suspended whilst investigations take place, with the possibility of additional requirements and guarantees becoming applicable.
We Make Du’aa that this matter is resolved urgently for the benefit of those who have already made Umrah bookings.