The Sultanate can look forward to a rise in the number of visitors applying for visa, thanks to the recently introduced e-visa system, said a top official at the E-Visa Project Department.
After the new system was introduced around mid-June, the number of visa applications has jumped manifold, which can be gauged by the number of hits the website, ‘www.evisa.rop.gov.om’ has received.
“Feedback from users of our e-visa website has been overwhelming. Statistics show the number of visa applicants is on the rise and more tourists will visit the country in the coming days,” said Lt Col Abdulla al Kalbani, E-Visa Project Manager.
He, however, said it was “too early to give out the exact number of visitors who have already made use of the e-visa”. The Royal Oman Police (ROP), represented by the Directorate-General of Passports and Residence, introduced the e-visa system after many years of study and experiments, on June 18.
All eligible individuals or corporates can apply for the visa by following simple steps, including applying online to the final step of presenting the original receipt at the airport.
The new system has eased all travel formalities and saved considerable time while ensuring accurate entry of data.
The fee payable for both new visas as well as renewal remains the same.
“The new system, which eliminated the old, manual way of applying for visa, is linked to various departments such as Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Civil
Service, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and NRI System,” said Al Kalbani. A resident of any GCC country is eligible for 29A visit to Oman provided he/she is on the list of approved professions on a payment of RO 5. It’s valid for a month.
They can also apply for 28B or 29C depending upon their requirement. The 29F Tourist Visit Visa, valid for 30 days (RO 20), is issued to a person who is not a G1 national, but is the spouse or child of a G1 national, and who is accompanied by that G1 national.
The 26H Tourist Visit Visa (RO 20) is issued to a person who is not a South Korea or Brunei national, but a spouse or child of a South Korean or Brunei national, and who is accompanied by the South Korean or Brunei national.
A person who is not a New Zealand national, but is the spouse or child of a NZ national, and who is accompanied by that NZ national, can apply for a 26G Tourist Visit Visa (RO 20). For non-residents of GCC, there are similar visas such as 26F Tourist Visit Visa, which is valid for 30 days.
“Steps that need to be followed are simple. Time consumed is less and chances of errors are minimal. The new e-Visa system is very user-friendly,” said the CEO of a leading travel and tourism agency. Visit visas are issued to people from different countries as per guidelines issued by the ROP. “Our objective is to reduce long queues, and eliminate human errors and the chance of inaccurate information while introducing E-Visa system,” Al Kalbani added. “We had issues of lack of system integration, slower decision-making and low responsiveness which were aptly addressed with the new e-visa, which is proving to be a success,” he said.