Source: Daily Pak

The Ministry of Religious Affairs in Pakistan has officially initiated the acceptance of Hajj applications for the year 2024. Marking the commencement of a significant pilgrimage season. A total of 15 designated banks across the nation have been appointed to facilitate the application process. As announced by the ministry.

Application Window and Expected Participants

Running from November 27 to December 12, the application submission period for the government-sponsored Hajj scheme has begun. Allowing interested individuals to apply within this stipulated timeframe.

According to the ministry’s projections, around 89,605 Pakistani citizens are anticipated to undertake the sacred Hajj pilgrimage next year through the government-sponsored program.

Banks in Pakistan ready to accept Hajj applications tomorrow
Source: Samaa

Bank Facilities Accepting Hajj Applications

Several banks, including Bank AL Habib, Bank Alfalah, Meezan Bank and HBL have initiated the process of accepting Hajj applications for 2024.

Bank Al Habib

Bank AL Habib is currently open for applications for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage until December 12th, 2023. The package offers two scheme options, with varying durations and prices based on the South and North regions of Pakistan. Basic facilities encompass essential aspects like training, medical provisions, accommodations, transportation, meals, and a 5-liter Zamzam offering.

Additional amenities are available at varying costs, such as different accommodations, discounts, and optional expenses like Qurbani. Prospective applicants must meet specific criteria, including possessing valid travel documents, vaccination and medical certificates, and an active bank account. Those without an account can easily open an AL Habib Asaan Account for application processing. The submission deadline for applications is December 12th, 2023. Applications can be initiated online and submitted at any Bank AL Habib branch.

Bank Alfalah

Bank Alfalah has also announced the opening of applications for Hajj 2024, accepting submissions from November 27th to December 12th, 2023, across all its branches. Applicants must provide various documents including original valid CNIC and passport, COVID vaccination and medical certificates, along with three photographs and a valid bank account.

The Regular Hajj Scheme selection process involves a Ministry of Religious Affairs ballot, open to applicants who haven’t participated in the government Hajj Scheme from 2017 to 2023. Pricing for Hajj packages varies for different regions and durations, offering optional facilities such as Qurbani charges and various residential categories at additional costs, refundable if not provided.

The Government Sponsorship Hajj Scheme operates on a “first come, first serve” basis, accepting only USD for foreign remittance into the Ministry of Religious Affairs collection account. Sponsors abroad must send a single remittance per applicant according to Place of Departure (POD), with foreign currency remitted directly into the specified ministry account from abroad.

Habib Bank Limited

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has initiated the acceptance of Hajj applications across a vast network of 1700+ branches nationwide, starting from November 27th until December 12th, 2023. For those aspiring to undertake the pilgrimage in the South region, the estimated cost stands at PKR 1,065,000, while participants from the North region can expect an estimated price of PKR 1,075,000.

Alternatively, there’s a sponsorship program available, with costs listed at USD $3,765 for the South and USD $3,800 for the North regions. For further assistance or to submit an application, individuals are encouraged to fill out the provided form, with terms and conditions applied, ensuring a smooth process for their Hajj journey through HBL’s services.

Meezan Bank

Meezan Bank is offering packages for both the South (Karachi, Quetta, Sukkur) and North (Faisalabad, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot) regions of Pakistan. The estimated prices for the Long Package (38 to 42 days, including 8 days in Madina) range from Rs. 1,065,000 to Rs. 1,150,000, varying based on region and the inclusion of Qurbani. Accommodation options in Makkah are available at different rates, including double and triple bed arrangements.

Application submission dates are set from November 27th to December 12th, 2023, without any age limit for applicants. The eligibility criteria cover various scenarios related to past Hajj participation under government or private schemes, specifying conditions for both males and females intending to apply.

Allied Bank

Allied Bank is facilitating Hajj applications for the Government Hajj Scheme 2024, allowing individuals to apply hassle-free at any of its branches. The application submission window spans from November 27th to December 12th, 2023, without any age restrictions for pilgrims. Mandatory requirements include a valid CNIC, a Machine-Readable Passport valid until December 16, 2024, and an active bank account. Under the Regular Hajj Scheme, varying packages are available for both North and South regions, ranging from RS 1,065,000 to RS 1,150,000 depending on duration and location.

The selection process for the Regular Scheme involves computerized balloting conducted by Hajj Authorities. Additionally, the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme offers packages ranging from USD 3,765 to USD 4,050 for North and South regions, with quotas on a first-come, first-serve basis. Foreign currency deposits must follow specific instructions via SWIFT remittance into the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ designated account for the sponsorship scheme. Each Hajj applicant requires a separate remittance, and detailed information including purpose code and bank charges must be included in the SWIFT message.

The sponsorship scheme is based on first-come, first-serve quotas from abroad only, with strict instructions on USD remittance into specific MORA accounts. Documentation requirements include valid CNIC copies, photographs meeting specified criteria, original passports, medical and vaccination certificates, among others, to be submitted with the application.

Government issued Hajj Packages

The Hajj packages for 2024 vary based on regions and duration, with basic facilities including Hajj training, vaccination, medical facilities in KSA, round-trip tickets, accommodation, transportation, food, and a 5-liter Zamzam facility, among others. Optional facilities and additional expenses are also provided, offering flexibility to applicants.

The selection process for the government Hajj scheme will employ a ballot system overseen by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Additionally, certain criteria regarding the applicants’ prior Hajj performances and accompanying conditions for minors have been outlined.

Banks Across Pakistan Receiving Hajj Applications - Munafa Marketing
Source: Munafa

Foreign Remittance and Sponsorship Scheme

The sponsorship scheme is governed by a “first come, first serve” basis without balloting. Accepting only US Dollars (USD) against foreign remittance in the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) collection account.

The opening of Hajj applications for 2024 signals the beginning of an important pilgrimage season. With the government and designated banks facilitating a seamless application process for prospective pilgrims. Aspiring Hajjis are encouraged to adhere to the specified requirements and apply within the designated timeline.

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