- Muscat: Beginning later this year, work visas will be made online, efforts of which are currently underway, according to sources at the e-visa department of the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
This move, aimed at easing the visa formalities and to reduce the time consumed to process a residence visa will also attract more foreigners to the Sultanate of Oman, according to the source.
“We are working towards making various visas online besides the current visit visa and unsponsored visa which can be applied online and we are hopeful that we can announce the same later this year”, said the source at Comex.
Oman issues nearly 36 different types of visas through its various offices across the country. However, there are four types of visas, unsponsored tourist visa, sponsored tourist visa, tourist visa for GCC residents, and express visa which can be applied and availed online. The validity for each visa varies with one month for an unsponsored visa to three months for a sponsored tourist visa and one month for an express visa.
Oman electronic visa is issued to foreign citizens from eligible countries that meet the requirements and one can choose to have either single or multiple entry visas. Online visa does not require a sponsor in Oman and the conditions applicable are that the applicant must not have any other current Oman visa and his or her passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date they enter Oman. However, these visas are not available to diplomatic/official passport holders and those who have an international travel document.
Along with work visa, plans are afoot to make contracting visa, investor, student visa, family joining visa, temporary work visa, multiple entry visa and the like to go online.
“Since the introduction of the e-visa, we have issued more than 100,000 Oman visas and counting. Although we have visa on arrival at the Muscat International Airport, tourists can apply for an e-visa some 4 days prior to their travel to the country.”
He further said that the number of visa applications has jumped manifold after the new system was introduced around mid-2017 as was seen from 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,” he added.