The Saudi Arabia government has released a new Haj policy that aims to increase the pilgrimage's accessibility and inclusivity for women, older citizens, and people with disabilities, while also lowering the cost by Rs. 50,000 and increasing the number of embarkation sites. The number of Haj seats allotted to India is shown in the Haj forms that are available on the Haj Committee portal. The revised Haj policy adopted by the Saudi government and communicated through the Haj portal is as follows:
New Policy For Haj 2023:
- People who have already done Haj through the HCoI (Haj Committee of India) are not eligible. Repeaters will be permitted in this instance of "Mehram" for female pilgrims and of companions accompanying pilgrims above the age of 70 upon payment of extra fees as applicable from time to time.
- Haj committee will consolidate single women who apply individually, in groups.
- The State/Union Territory Haj Committee is offering free distribution of the Haj Application Forms (HAFs). Initially the Haj application cost Rs. 300.
- There will now be 25 embarkation points.
- Special arrangements have been done for infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.
Eligibility for Haj:
- The Haj pilgrims should be fit in all areas, viz. financial, physical, behavioural, mental health according to basic Saudi regulations on eligibility to conduct the Haj or Umrah.
- Persons in possession of an international machine-readable valid Indian passport in accordance with HCoI regulations.
- Persons having performed Haj through HCOI earlier are not eligible to apply, but if they are accompanying eligible ladies as Mehram and those accompanying pilgrims above 70 yrs of age, under declaration are eligible, on the payment of additional fee.
- Anyone discovered to have provided fake information will be barred.
- Persons should be in good health and not suffering from serious illnesses such advanced cancer, advanced cardiac, lung, kidney, or liver disease, infectious TB disease, or senility.
- Single Ladies should be accompanied by Sharia Mehram.
- Any person against whom a court order prohibiting travel abroad exists is not eligible for Haj.
- Consent of parents/legal guardian is mandatory for undertaking Haj by any applicant below the age of 18 years.