Bangladeshi pilgrims performing Hajj will now be able to complete immigration procedures at Bangladesh’s main international airport before arriving in Saudi Arabia, rather than to wait in the aircraft for hours upon landing in the Kingdom.
The change comes following high-level exchanges between the two governments on making things easier for the 127,000 Hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh.
While half of the Hajj pilgrims will travel with the national carrier, Bangladesh Biman, the rest will be flown to the Kingdom through special flights arranged by Saudi Airlines.
Now Bangladeshi pilgrims will be able to enter Saudi Arabia through a jet-bridge after landing at the airport without any formalities, as per the initiative led by a collaboration of two governments.
“To finalize the last-minute formalities a high-profile 14-member Saudi delegation, led by the chief of the passport and immigration department, is scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh with relevant officials from the Saudi ministry.
Bangladesh will increase the number of immigration staff at the airport to 60. It is expected that Saudi Arabia will also send the same number of immigration officials to Dhaka during the month-long hajj flight operation.
The Saudi immigration team is intended to stay in Dhaka for the Hajj flights to provide all types of assistance to the pilgrims in addition to Bangladeshi pilgrims completing a 10-finger biometric registration process in line with Saudi immigration rules.
Dhaka has set the minimum cost for pilgrims at $4,145 for the current year with the maximum cost fixed at $5,045.