Online facility for sponsored visas

Muscat: The Royal Oman Police (ROP) on Wednesday launched online facility for sponsored visas.
According to a statement in its website, “From today, the electronic authentication service PKI (public key infrastructure) has been enabled for processing applications for sponsored visas.”
ROP has recently implemented applications on mobile phones as it seeks to provide its electronic services through various channels to facilitate and speed up its services to citizens and residents. The new initiative is expected to ease the visa formalities and reduce the time required in its process.
According to an official, the Sultanate has nearly 36 different types of visas issued through its various offices across the country.
“Till now online facility was available only for unsponsored tourist visa, sponsored tourist visa and tourist visa for GCC residents. Now, some more sponsored visas are included in the online category,” the official said.
The sponsored visa categories include, employment, family joining with relatives already in Oman, domestic workers and investor visas.
The validity of the visas vary from one month to three months depending on their types, he said.
According to the official, feedback from users of ROP’s e-visa website has been overwhelming.
“There has been a jump in the number of visa applicants for tourist visas,” he said.
At the same time, the official said that application of a person who left the country without cancelling his visa will not be processed.
“People who worked in Oman and left without cancelling their visas at the time of their exit cannot come back even after two years on any kind of a visa,” the official said.
Still, the visa application can be processed if a no-objection certificate from the former employer or sponsor is obtained and attached along with the application.
He said it is always safe to leave the country with the knowledge of the sponsor and get the visa cancelled to avoid any kind of trouble.
“Non-cancellation of visa not only blocks the re-entry of a person, but also can create a lot of trouble, if the employer wishes to, by way of filing false complaints,” he said.