Safa Group pilgrims delayed by visa issue departs for Umrah

Pilgrims from Safa Hajj and Umrah Group at Velana International Airport. (Photo/Safa Group)

Safa Hajj and Umrah Group’s pilgrims whose departure to Saudi Arabia for Umrah on last Thursday morning got canceled last minute over non-receipt of visa have departed to the nation on Tuesday morning.

Approximately 182 pilgrims departed for Saudi Arabia at 11:00am on Tuesday on a chartered flight.

Many pilgrims who have made payments to Safa Group for their Umrah trips were scheduled to depart to Saudi Arabia on Thursday morning. Safa Group announced the last-minute cancellation of the trip in the early hours of Thursday via a message to the pilgrims’ Viber group citing non-receipt of visas.

Islamic Ministry issued a press release on the case on Thursday night in which they stated Safa Group failed to seek visa ahead of time. Thereby, they attributed the non-finalization of the pilgrims’ visas to negligence by the group.

An official from Safa Group told Sun on Friday that they have no intention to deceive any party.

The official detailed that they were ready for the trip till the last minute as the visa agency from Saudi Arabia, they corresponded with, repeatedly assured them the visas had been finalized.

The official stressed that the pilgrims were not informed ahead of time as they provided assurance from the visa agency.