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Saudi Arabia launches biometrics enrollment app for pilgrim visas

Saudi Arabia launches biometrics enrollment app for pilgrim visas

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Saudi Visa Bio’ mobile app made its debut in the UK and Malaysia to register the fingerprint or face biometrics of pilgrims seeking to visit the Persian Gulf kingdom for the Hajj and Umrah, according to reports by the Saudi Gazette and The Edge Markets.

Saudi Visa Bio is a biometric smartphone app that allows for visa registration via fingerprints and selfie biometrics to attend significant Muslim pilgrimages. When pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia, the app expedites the travel process by requiring only matching of biometric data without re-registering, says The Edge Markets.

The new app delivers on a commitment made by the Saudi government late last year to allow biometrics enrollment through mobile devices so pilgrims to Mecca can avoid visiting visa centers 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.

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