Worldwide

Pilgrimage administration quickly & conveniently

All pilgrims traveling to Mecca for their pilgrimage like Hajj & Umrah, have to be registered and need a special visa to start their journey. This administration is aided by passport readers, automatically capturing personal data from ID documents.

About the client

Various Hajj & Umrah travel agencies

Around the world, there are thousands of agencies focusing especially on Hajj,
Umrah or Enjaz pilgrimage and using passport / ID scanners for speeding up the
registration.

Quick project facts

  • Product: Combo Smart e-passport reader
  • Quantity: 3,000+ pcs.
  • Locations: Worldwide
  • Application area: Registering travelers’ data, visa issuance for Hajj, Umrah, Enjaz

All pilgrims traveling to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for their pilgrimage like Hajj, Umrah or Enjaz, have to be registered at MOFA – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia and need a special visa to start their journey. These administration processes are aided by passport readers, automatically capturing personal data from ID documents. Read below to learn the details.

About Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage

The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims, that can be undertaken at any time of the year – in contrast to the Hajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar. Only Umrah has an attendance of more than 20 million persons yearly, almost third of them coming from abroad, according to the statistics from 2019.

The challenge

According to the regulations, pilgrims need a special visa and their personal data has to be submitted to the relevant authorities, such as MOFA, Ehaj, Bab Umrah, Gama, Tawaf or Way To Umrah websites. One pilgrim’s data takes more than 10 minutes to collect and submit, which remarkably slows the administration process – and often includes mistyped characters as well, serving for potential future issues.

The solution

Travel offices therefore started using passport reader devices that automatically capture ID document data, so there is no need for manual typing and correcting mistyped characters. The devices digitalize all printed data, and in addition, digital data as well– as many of today’s IDs and passports are actually e-IDs and e-passports, including a contactless chip with digital data on them.

There is even more for the travel industry.

Take a look at our solutions

More about passport reading

The mentioned device is a purpose-built scanner that takes images of the ID document and performs OCR – Optical Character Recognition on the scanned images and capture RFID data from the chip. In Hajj systems, all these 4 types of data are gathered:

  • MRZ

MRZ is the abbreviation of Machine Readable Zone, a standardized data on passports and IDs, containing personal and document data – written with Latin characters.

  • VIZ

VIZ is the abbreviation of Visual Inspection Zone, which is not standardized, includes various data of the document holder and the document itself, written with the local alphabet.

  • Face portrait

It is the photo that links the document to the person – the system automatically crops the face portrait, no matter what document type is present.

  • RFID data

The device creates secure access to the contactless chip of the e-document then gather all digital data.

Benefits of using dedicated Hajj & Umrah software

Some travel offices take extra benefit from special Hajj software to register pilgrims. These software products can automatically submit personal data to the mentioned authorities, saving a lot of time during the administration.

Another advantage is that many of them is compatible with passport readers, such as the Combo Smart passport reader.

This way, the whole process, including data input and data transfer takes only seconds instead of the lengthy traditional way. A good example of such Hajj system is Hajonsoft.

Learn more about Combo Smart, the professional e-passport reader: