Elderly pilgrims may be affected, according to HAAB.
News Desk : dhakamirror.com
In order to receive their Umrah e-visas, pilgrims from Bangladesh and four other countries must submit biometric data, including “fingerprints,” to the Saudi authorities.
According to a report citing an announcement by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the other nations include the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Kuwait, and Malaysia.
Interested pilgrims will have to use the Saudi Visa Bio app that allows for visa registration via fingerprints and selfie biometrics to attend significant Muslim pilgrimages.
The new app delivers on a commitment made by the Saudi government late last year to allow biometrics enrolment through mobile devices so pilgrims to Mecca can avoid visiting visa centres in person, and makes the country one of the first in the world to accept biometrics by mobile for visa issuance.
In February 2022, the kingdom also released an electronic passport with a chip that stores the user’s biometrics for authentication purposes.
M Shahadat Hossain Taslim, president, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB), said that the new system will create problems for elderly hajis as in many cases their finger prints do not match in the biometric machine.
“But we will certainly follow the rules set by the Saudi authorities once it would be launched formally,” he said.
According to the HAAB president, around three to four lakh Bangladeshis perform Umrah hajj each year.