Visit visas auto-renewed till June 15: ROP

Muscat: Expatriates, who hold a valid residence visa in the Sultanate but were away during the Covid-19 and couldn’t return before the lockdown, can renew their visas online, according to the Royal Oman Police (ROP).

Visit and express visas of all those who are in the country but are overstaying due to the airport closure, are automatically renewed and extended till June 15, the ROP source said.

“Whoever has a work permit and stranded outside the country due to Coronavirus impact can apply for an online renewal. We have already extended all visit and express visas free of cost until June 15,” a highly-placed source told the Observer.

Asked about visas already issued prior to the closure but couldn’t arrive and get the visa stamped due to the lockdown, the source added that those who have secured visas earlier have to apply afresh for new visa against the old ones.

“Residence visa holders who are inside the country can renew the same online as most of the services are available on internet these days.”

“Most of the visas can be renewed online and if the system doesn’t accept it, it’s implied that the same cannot be renewed. Also, once visa is over, it would attract fines which would amount to RO 10 against labour, while emigration fine is 20 rials, and ID RO 10.”

Fines against labour card would be calculated. For renewal, fee is RO 300 for a two-year validity card. The fee of RO 300 is divided by 24 months = RO 12.5. The fine for delay is RO 10, hence, one month fine would be RO 22.500 and even if one exceeds one day after the validity, the fine of next month will be added.

However, labour card fee will be separate.

A source at the emigration further clarified the structure of visa fines.

“Visa fines are of two types. The first one is visit visa and if anyone has a fine before the airport closed in March, those fines must be paid by the resident. However, no fine during the pandemic period is applicable. For example, one who has five months’ fine before March 2020, and wants to travel now, he will have to pay those 5 months fine. However, grace period is applicable in any case.”

The second fine is the fines related to civil status which has to be paid if he or she wants to renew the civil status. There are no cancelation charges but a fine of RO 10 per month is applicable with one month grace period.

“Online renewal is possible and employment and visit visas can be renewed including visas of domestic help, driver, private cook etc,” a travel agent has confirmed the possibility of renewing residence visa online.

“As far as the residence visa is concerned, and if a person couldn’t stamp it on his passport, one can apply for a fresh visa. If you have sufficient Omani staff required to keep by the Ministry of Manpower (MoMP), one can apply with the person’s photo online for visa which will be done with no hindrance as long as the requirements are met and once the emigration is open, one can get it done,” the travel agent added underlining the fact that unused visas need to be reissued.