Staff Correspondent: Bangladeshi people intend to perform hajj now can complete the immigration procedure from Dhaka airport before heading towards Saudi Arabia, said Religion Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah yesterday.
The minister made disclosure it at a press briefing at the ministry’s conference room.
“Bangladeshi pilgrims will be able to enter Saudi Arabia through a jet-bridge after landing at the airport without any formality,” he said.
It was previously assumed that the process would be difficult for officials to maintain as it is a big responsibility, Abdullah said adding, “But we’ve taken all the necessary initiatives to complete the process properly.”
The minister said, “We’re ready to accept the opportunity as it’ll ease the whole immigration process of hajj pilgrims.”
Earlier, pilgrims required to wait in the aircraft after landing in Saudi Arabia to complete the immigration procedure — sometimes waiting for up to six hours.
As part of the ‘Makkah Route Initiative Framework’, a technical delegation from Saudi Arabia came to Bangladesh on March 21 to oversee the pre-arrival immigration system here, he said.
Another 14-member team, led by Saudi Arabia’s Director General of Passports Maj Gen Sulaiman Al Yahya, came here on April 9 to discuss the issues with officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Hazrat Shahajal International Airport, immigration and custom departments, Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines.
Bangladeshi pilgrims will also have to complete a 10-finger biometric registration in line with Saudi immigration rules, he added.