Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Religious Affairs Ministry asked all Indonesian Umrah pilgrims to return to the country before 29 Zulkaidah 1445 Hijri or June 6, 2024 Gregorian calendar.

The Religious Affairs Ministry's spokesperson, Anna Hasbie, said the ministry conveyed this request considering the Saudi Arabia Government's regulation that only allows Umrah pilgrims to last enter the country on 15 Zulkaidah 1445 Hijri.

"Pilgrims who use the Umrah visa must comply with the policies of the Government of Saudi Arabia. Please, immediately return to Indonesia before the visa expires," Hasbie remarked.

She said that there are a number of risks for the Umrah pilgrims and Umrah Travel Organizers (PPIU) if they stay beyond the time limit set by Saudi Arabia.

"Pilgrims who stay in Saudi Arabia beyond the (visa) time limit can be subject to legal problems, a considerable fine, and deportation from the country," she said.

If deported, she said, the pilgrim will be barred from re-entering Saudi Arabia within the next 10 years.

"The government will also reinforce administrative sanctions such as the revocation of PPIU's business license. These provisions are contained in Government Regulation Number 5 of 2021," she said.

Hasbie also reminded that the Umrah visa cannot be used for performing Hajj. The Saudi Arabian government, she said, has tightened the regulations, that people who perform Hajj must use the Hajj visa.

Her side will record PPIU who will still depart Umrah pilgrims to Saudi Arabia at the end of the Umrah season and those who are still in Saudi Arabia.

"We are currently collecting data on Umrah Travel Organizers that will still depart Umrah pilgrims at the end of the (Umrah) season and those organizers who still hold pilgrims in Saudi Arabia but have not returned," she said.

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Translator: Sean M, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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