The Sultanate will launch electronic visa to the country on June 19 under the auspices of Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs.
The launch will take place at the Special Police Taskforce Command in Al Seeb, according to a source at the Royal Oman Police (ROP). The event, to be held in the presence of Lt Gen Hassan bin Mohsin al Shraiqi, Inspector General of Police and Customs, will mark a new chapter in the Directorate of Immigration and Passports at ROP, following which all visa transactions will be online.
Earlier, authorities had said the e-visa would be introduced step-by-step.
Trials and tests are currently under way, said a top official from the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.
“Final touches are being given to the landmark programme which has been tried and tested for more than a year,” said a top immigration official.
“Long queues, human errors, chances of inaccurate information, lack of systems integration, slower decision-making and low responsiveness are some of the issues that we aim to address through the e-visa initiative,” said the officer.
Once the e-visa is introduced, any individual or corporate can apply for the visa by following 10 steps starting from applying online to the final step of presenting the original receipt at the airport.
This will ease travel formalities and save time while ensuring accurate data entry.
The fee payable will remain the same for e-visa as well.
“The online visa application process requires users to follow three simple steps: filling up and submitting online visa application form, printing the completed form, and taking the printed form along with the required documents to the nearest ROP visa office,” the official said.
The new system, which will eliminate the old (manual) way of applying for visa, will be linked to various departments such as Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Civil Service, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and NRI System.
This will facilitate prompt visa processing, enable ITA’s e-payment gateway and other banks’ payment modes, provide online notification facilities for users and allow the option of printing international standard visa stickers.
Most importantly, the ROP plans to integrate all hotels and rent-a-car companies with the e-visa system to generate visitor data at the fingertips.
“Once the system is integrated with all leading hotels and rent-a-car companies, any guest who has checked in, transferred, changed room and checked out will be registered at the ROP systems simultaneously,” the officer said.