A mass visa cancellation took place at an airport in Saudi Arabia when 177 Nigerians were not allowed to enter the country and were instead deported.
The 177 Nigerians were among the passengers who arrived in Jeddah aboard an Air Peace flight on Monday. Only 87 Nigerians on the flight were allowed to enter.
The incident happened as Nigerian President Bola Tinubu was in Saudi Arabia for bilateral talks with the Saudi government.
Why the Nigerians' Visas Were Cancelled
According to a report by CNN, the Saudi Arabia embassy in Nigeria released a statement to address the mass visa cancellation. The statement said that the deported passengers "didn't fulfill the entry conditions and requirements in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Kingdom, as they submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that doesn't apply to them, which was discovered upon their arrival."
Air Peace released a statement as well on the matter, and the airline expressed its shock at the cancellation. It stressed that it "strictly followed the profiling procedures stipulated by Saudi Arabian authorities."
Traveling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah
CNN's report states that some of the passengers were trying to enter Saudi Arabia are pilgrims intending to perform the lesser Hajj (the Umrah) in Mecca. Mecca is considered the Islamic holy city.
It should be noted that the Middle Eastern country requires pilgrims to have specific travel documents when trying to enter for Hajj or Umrah. Specifically, pilgrims should have Hajj or Umrah visas with them.
Those with tourist visas are not allowed to perform Hajj or Umrah during the Hajj season. Umrah can be performed by those with a tourist visa outside the Hajj season instead, according to Gulf News.
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