Muscat: Lt Col Hilal bin Said al Wahaibi, Director of Residence Department at the General Directorate of Passports and Residency, said that as per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, all countries have to use electronic passports and the hand-written passports do not comply with the requirements of the convention on International Civil Aviation.
Accordingly, any individual wishing to visit or work in the Sultanate must have an electronic passport, but some countries still renew passports manually at the embassies abroad, he said in a statement.
Regarding the most prominent violations stipulated in the Foreigners Residence Law, he said that these violations are clear in Chapter 10 of the law, which is to keep the expatriate in the Sultanate illegally, to submit incorrect documents to obtain any kind of visa, delays in the renewal of residence during the legal period due to negligence and the inability of the employer to produce the whereabouts of the employee in case he is absconding.
As for the procedures resulting from such violations, the offender is referred to the public prosecution to complete the legal proceedings or to settle the legal matter after the payment of the fines.
Al Wahaibi stated that if the expatriate does not initiate renewal of his residency during the specified legal period, he will be subject to fines. This can be reduced through the commitment of the expatriate and the employer to renew the residence during the legal period to avoid fines and legal consequences, which the employer ceases to serve.
The Director of Residence Department at the General Directorate of Passports and Residency, said there is no permanent residency for expatriates under the provisions of the Foreigners Residence Law. The article 14 states that the period of residency granted to an expatriate may not exceed two years conditions might apply in some cases.
He said the children of the expatriate are granted residency until the age of 21. The residency will be granted to the siblings depended on the expatriate until the age of 18, following which they will have to apply for the residency on their own.
He added there are no changes to what has been discussed in Article 19 of the Executive Regulations of the Foreigners Residency No. 16/95 for the family residency, which is granted to the spouse of the expatriate and his children who are under the age of 21 years. The competent authority has the rights to verify if the applicant exceeds the age limit.