Visas for Oman

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Expats will be relieved to know that the process of securing a visa for Oman is relatively hassle-free. Tourist visas for Oman are especially easy to come by, and although the process of securing employment visas for expats in Oman requires a lot of paperwork, most of this is undertaken by the expat's Omani employer.

Tourist visas (visitor's visas) for Oman

Nationals of the following countries are able to obtain single-entry tourist visas or multiple-entry business visas on arrival in Oman:
tourist visa for OmanAndorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana,  Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican.
Those in possession of a passport issued by one of the countries listed above are able to get a single- or multiple-entry tourist visa for Oman by merely presenting their passport and filling in an application form at their point of entry into Oman.

Conditions of a single-entry tourist visa:

  • Valid for use within six months from the date of issuance.
  • Valid for staying in the country for a period not exceeding thirty days from the date of entry.
  • Number of trips: one trip only.
  • May be extended for a similar period.
  • It is highly recommended that visitors are also in possession of a return or onward ticket, to show their intention to leave Oman within a reasonable timeframe (less than two months).
  • Those who overstay their visa are liable for a fine.

Conditions of a multi-entry tourist visa:

  • Validity of the visa: three months from the date of issue.
  • Duration of the visa: valid for a period not less than six months and not more than one year entitle the holder to reside in the country for a period not more than three weeks in every visit.
  • Not extendable.
  • Those overstaying their visa are liable for a fine.
  • It is highly recommended that visitors are also in possession of return or onward tickets, to show their intention to leave Oman within a reasonable time-frame (less than three weeks or 21 days).
  • Multiple-entry visas are ideal for those needing to make short business trips to Oman, or those intending to make frequent trips to Oman to visit family members.

Employment visas for Oman

Expats looking to live and work in Oman will require an employment visa, a document that can only be obtained in partnership with a sponsoring Omani employer. Thus, it’s necessary to have a job before applying for this visa.
Although the application process for this visa demands a significant amount of paperwork, the good news for expats is that the administrative burden of application falls largely on the shoulders of their Omani employers.
Note that because a prospective employer invests so much in helping the prospective employee obtain the employment visa, it is very difficult to change jobs while in Oman. In order to do this, expats will need a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer (very rarely given); or else will need to leave the country for a period of at least two years and start the employment visa application all over again.

Procedure for acquiring an employment visa for Oman:

  • Obtain a firm job offer for work in Oman from a reputable company.
  • The hiring company will appoint a local sponsor to assist with the employment visa application.
  • Note that applicants must be at least 21 years of age, and no older than 60.
  • A letter of invitation from the hiring company, and a signed work permit issued by the Omani Directorate General of Labour Affairs will be submitted by the sponsor on the employee's behalf.
  • Ensure details such as age, gender, date of birth, nationality and employment position offered are accurate. They must exactly match those contained in the work permit document.
  • Fill in the designated online application form, again ensuring that the details recorded are accurate.
  • The application will be forwarded to the local sponsor to be endorsed and stamped, and to be typed in Arabic for Arab nationals and in English for non-Arab nationals.
  • In addition to the completed form, expats are required to provide their sponsor with a certified copy of their passport (valid for the period in which they wish to work in Oman).
  • Expats are also required to provide the sponsor with two 4cm x 6cm photographs.
  • If a degree, diploma or other qualification is directly relevant to the employment position in Oman, one must submit a certified copy of it.
  • Note that nationals of the following countries are also required to submit a medical clearance certificate: Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Sudan. These certificates must be endorsed by the Omani Ministry of Health.
  • The aforementioned documents, and proof of payment of the visa fee, will be submitted by the sponsor to the Omani Directorate General of Passports and Residence, who will process the application.
Note that these visas are valid for two years, and allow for multiple entries.
Omani authorities are becoming increasingly strict about the employment of foreign nationals, who require significant skills and employment experience to be assured of being granted an employment visa. In some cases, the authorities will need to be convinced that a position could not adequately be filled by an Omani citizen. If a visa application is denied, applicants are not entitled to an explanation from the consular authorities.

Family joining and family residence visas for Oman

Family joining and family residence visas are granted to the spouses of holders of Omani employment visas, as well as to their children (provided they are younger than 21 years of age). They are valid for two years, and allow for multiple entries.
Family joining visas are applied for when families are travelling to Oman to meet up with (or 'join') their spouse who is already working there; while family residence visas may be applied for while both parties are still in their home country.
The process is much the same: expats will require a sponsor to act on their behalf, and will need to supply certified copies of marriage certificates to prove their status as a 'family unit'. The family joining visas are generally easier to procure, as the spouse who is already in Oman (on an employment visa, and possessing a resident card) can easily prove their legal right to reside in the country.

*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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