Oman announces online tourist visas

Oman announces online tourist visasThe Sultanate of Oman has a largely oil-based economy, but the tourism industry is the fastest growing industry. Keeping this in mind, the Royal Police of Oman has introduced the facility for tourists to apply for visitor visas for its land without sponsorship. This facility can be availed by 63 countries mentioned in the country list 1, maintained by the Royal Police; which includes countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong (ROC), Singapore, US and New Zealand. The reason stated is that changes were made to give genuine travellers from these countries to visit the country when they wanted to.

Countries like India, China and Iran are not allowed to apply to the tourist visa and require a sponsor to apply. The reason supplied is that these countries have a large middle class and individuals might migrate to find work and not be genuine tourists visiting the Sultanate.

Earlier application took a long time for processing, while the current system in use could arrange a tourist visa in 3 to 4 working days which includes application and processing. For reasons of safety, tourist visas are only approves after submission of supporting documents towards hotel stay or amount of guarantee. This means that the hotels will bear responsibility in case of this being used as guarantee by the tourist.

The tourist visa is valid for up to six months from the date of issuance, while also allowing a maximum extension period of 30 days post the last date of the tourist visa issued. The extension though comes at a price of 10 Omani Riyal a day or US$ 25.97. The travel visa is a single entry visa only and will cost 20 Omani Riyals or US$ 51.95.

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