Bangladeshis expecting to perform Hajj and Umrah must complete biometric registration – fingerprints and image recognition – to obtain a Saudi Arabian visa from next year.
The Saudi embassy in Dhaka issued a notification on Wednesday announcing the decision to all accredited Hajj agencies.
The decision will come into effect from 1 January 2022.
Biometric data must be submitted through the Saudi Visa Bio app which can be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.
Pilgrims will be unable to obtain a Saudi visa unless they register with the app and submit their biometric data.
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah – the holiest city for Muslims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – that can be undertaken at any time of the year, while Hajj is observed on specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
Moreover, Hajj is a weeklong Islamic ritual and a must for financially capable Muslims at least once in their lifetime.
Around 2.5 lakh people from Bangladesh visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah each year through private management, according to the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh.