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Can I travel to Saudi Arabia without a visa and apply for an umrah visa from there?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
I live in New Zealand and myself and my children very keen to visit Saudi Arabia for umrah. The Saudi embassy in NZ has appointed some agents who charge very high fee in organising the trip. They are ripping off the community in the name of the umrah and Hajj. On my travelling document (passport) I can visit Saudi Arabia without visa as there is an agreement between the country which I live in and Saudi Arabia travel free. I can purchase the ticket and can visit Saudi.
My questions are as follows?
Can I travel to Saudi Arabia and stay there as a visitor and later on after couple of days will approach the Saudi embassy for an umrah visa. Can I do that?
Can I make my intention after applying for a visa from Saudi Arabia or do need to make my intention from the country which I am living now. I do not want to go through the agents who are ripping off. Please advise.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 561/561/M=05/1435)

If it is true that there is an agreement and law between New Zealand and Saudi Arabia of free travel then in this case you may travel under this law by your passport to Saudi Arabia without a visa. And then you can go the Embassy and get visa for umrah and thereafter you may perform it. It is not necessary to make the intention from your own country, but it is not lawful to cross the miqat without ihram.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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