Wow! Thanks for this fascinating contribution, Lestertheinvestor. I was exhausted just from reading the directions for applying for the visa. It is quite obvious that Saudi Arabia doesn't want infidels visiting them. A few questions you might know the answer to: 1) Is the process stream-lined for a Muslim wanting to go to Mecca, and what kind of proof do they need to have that they're a Muslim? 2) Do you have any rough idea how many hours you spent on this process? Ball-park guess would do.
1) The process is easier for a Muslim who is going on a hajj. However, unless you are native born, you must present a document from the Imam of your mosque documenting your status as a Muslim in good standing. For a Caucasian woman who is a converted Muslim, you must still get permission from your husband or a male relative, along with the letter from the mosque to allow you to make the hajj. 2) Between my wife and I (she actually presented our documents each time to the consulate in Los...
Originally Posted by Travel Luver: What a bureaucratic nightmare! I wonder if there are countries that make it harder to visit than this one? My wife and I have visited 119 countries, with China, Bhutan and Saudi Arabia the most challenging to enter.
My husband and I were invited to live there for two years while he did a medical fellowship in genetics. The challenge for me was that I am a very independent traveler, and I could not imagine how I would deal with the restrictions on women. In the end, those restrictions influenced our decision to go to Germany for two years instead. However, after having seen your photos, I am curious to see more. I regret that I do not know this part of the world.
It is nearly impossible to visit Saudi Arabia. If you have a business there, you can travel on a business visa. If you are going to visit Mecca on a hajj (pilgrimage), you can get a visa. Otherwise, you have to be an invited guest of the government....
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