More relaxed visa regulations to attract inbound tourists

MUSCAT, Oct 22 – The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has amended few provisions under the Foreigners Residency Law to make things easier for foreign travellers coming to Oman on a tourist visa.
The Tanfeedh labs last year had suggested that Oman should target around 2.7 million international tourists by 2020 from 2.1 million in 2017.
Amendments which were released by the Ministry of Legal Affairs on Sunday said that tourists can stay for an extra week as their length of stay can be now extended to a month at a time from the current three weeks.
This facility has been granted to tourists who avail one-year visa at the cost of RO 50.
The one-year visa holder can enter the Sultanate more than once during the validity period but cannot stay in Oman for a period not exceeding one month at a time.
The one-month tourist visit is valid for one month and may be extended for a similar period.
The fee is RO 20 and shall be issued at all land and sea ports or by missions abroad to the nationals of the countries specified by the authorities.
The ROP has also specified fee for various categories of visa, which include Scientific Research visa (RO 50), sailors’ transit visa (RO 50), investor visa (RO 50), family visa (RO 30), study visa (RO 30), work visa (RO 20), one-month tourism visa (RO 20), one-year tourism visa (RO 50), friends and relatives visit visa (RO 20), express visa (RO 30), contract work visa (RO 20), technical team visa (RO 20), transit visa (land/air): (RO 5), bus and truck drivers visas (RO 20), temporary work visa (RO 20), emergency visa (RO 15) and work visa renewal RO 20.

Last week, the ROP has added tourists from 25 more countries to be eligible to arrive in Oman on a non-sponsored e-visa.
The countries were Azerbaijan, Armenia, Albania, Uzbekistan, Iran, Panama, Bhutan, Bosnia, Peru, Belarus, Turkmenistan, the Maldives, Georgia, Honduras, Salvador, Tajikistan, Guatemala, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Costa Rica, Laos, Mexico and Nicaragua.
According to the regulation, an applicant must have a passport that is valid for not less than six months of application, must be a resident or a valid visa holder of one of these countries at the time of applying — US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Schengen.
Citizens of India, China, Russia who holds visa to US, Canada, Australia, UK and Schengen are eligible to arrive in Oman on e-visa with sponsors.

Vinod Nair