The additional haj quota for Indonesia for the 1444 Hijri/2023 haj season is 8,000 pilgrims, and has been included in the Saudi Arabia visa application, e-Hajj.
Bogor, Jawa Barat (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia received an additional hajj quota for 8,000 pilgrims who have been included in the e-Hajj system, Saudi Arabia’s visa application.
“The additional hajj quota starting today has been confirmed as included in e-Hajj, totaling 8,000 pilgrims. We are waiting for an official letter from Saudi Arabia. We will also discuss it with the House of Representatives soon,” Indonesia’s Minister of Religions Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said in Jakarta, Sunday (May 7).
“The (Indonesian) Ministry of Religions will communicate intensively with various parties, including the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia to respond to this additional quota,” he continued.
This year, Indonesia receives a quota of 221,000 pilgrims. This number consists of 203,320 regular pilgrims and 17,680 special pilgrims.
Prospective pilgrims have already completed the payment process for the period from April 11 to May 5, 2023. So far there are still 14,356 pilgrims who have not made payment or confirmed the payment of the 1444 Hijri Hajj Travel Expenses, so that the process has been extended to May 12, 2023.
According to the minister, there are a number of steps that must be carried out in the process of departing pilgrims since the determination of the quota.
First, he said, the Ministry of Religions must hold a working meeting with the House of Representatives’ Commission VIII to discuss the use of the additional quota and its financing.
“The result of the agreement with the House will be used as the basis for issuing a presidential decree regarding the additional quota. After that, a decree of the minister of religion regarding guidelines for paying hajj for the additional quota must be issued,” Minister Yaqut noted.
At the same time, the Ministry of Religions will immediately verify the data of pilgrims who have the rights to depart before being announced as pilgrims who are entitled to make payments. The next stage is the settlement period.
“Along with the settlement, the Ministry of Religions will take care of the documents for pilgrims, including passports, service contracts with service providers in Saudi Arabia, so that visas for additional quota pilgrim can also be issued,” he explained.
“Flight contracts will also be adjusted as the additional quota is available, and this includes arrangements for dividing flight groups and flight schedules,” he added.
The ministry’s Director General of Hajj and Umrah Management, Hilman Latief, said that the time available to prepare the additional quota for pilgrims is limited, because the first batch had departed for Saudi Arabia on May 24, 2023.
However, he said, his party would try to maximize the absorption of the additional quota so that more Indonesian pilgrims could go on pilgrimage this year.
According to Hilman, in 2022 Indonesia received an additional quota of 10,000 pilgrims, but at that time it was impossible to follow up, as the confirmation about the additional quota was only announced on June 21, while the deadline for the regular hajj pilgrimage visa process at that time was June 29, 2022 and the final flight (closing date) for departure from Indonesia was July 3, 2022.
In 2019, Indonesia received an additional quota for 10,000 pilgrims. The confirmation of the additional quota was obtained in April 2019, while the departure of the first flight was on July 5, 2019.
“Although not many, this year there is still time for preparations. We will try our best so that the quota is absorbed optimally,” Hilman said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window