As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
What kinds of visas are available?
Visa procedures introduced in July 2003 in the Sultanate of Oman:
- Single Entry Visit Visa—This visa (introduced in 2003) combines the tourist visa, business visa and short visit visa, which now cease to exist. Valid for one month.
- Multiple Entry Visa—Valid for one year. This visa allows its holder to stay in Oman for three weeks each visit during the validity period. A minimum of three weeks must elapse between each subsequent visit.
- Express Visa—Valid for two weeks. This type of visa applies to certain specified nationalities. It is issued after the presentation of an application by an Oman commercial or tourist establishment or to apply directly to diplomatic missions and commercial representation offices abroad.
- Common visa facility with the Emirate of Dubai—Certain nationals arriving from the Emirate of Dubai to the Sultanate bearing an entrance visa or stamp from the Emirate of Dubai are not required to obtain a separate visa for Oman. Valid for the period of the visa issued from the relevant authorities in the Emirate of Dubai or a maximum of three weeks for nationals, who do not require entrance visas to the Emirates.
- Tourist Visit Visa—Valid for one month. Can be used any time within six months from the date of issue.
Please contact Crown Muscat for complete information and assistance on all visa types.
What is required to obtain these visas?
A visa application form must be submitted along with any required documentation. Visas handled by the sponsor may require passport copies, passport-size photos and contracts for work in Oman from the transferee’s side. An authenticated copy of the marriage certificate is required for spouses and copies of birth certificates are required for the children’s visas. The form filing is done by the sponsor and is usually in Arabic. No other certificates are usually required, but all applicants for resident status must go through a medical check and have their fingerprints taken.
Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Spouses holding a joining family residence visa are not allowed to work, not even part-time. If you wish to work, you must get an employment visa. There are plenty of job opportunities; not all of them are equally well-paid if they are local hire.
What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
Residents have an ID card, which can be obtained after you've received your Oman residence visa.
In 2005, the government began replacing labor cards with resident cards. The resident card uses biometric recognition and is multi-functional, holding personal details, driver's license and emergency medical information. It can be used for electronic validation at immigration checkpoints and can serve as an electronic cash card for transactions at government organizations.
Cards are issued by the Directorate General of Civil Status. You will need a completed application form, passport, medical certificate, labor clearance from the Ministry of Manpower (private sector workers) and two photographs. Non-working residents (family members) need a completed application form, passport, birth certificate, medical certificate and two photographs. Further information can be requested from the Directorate General of Civil Status, located in the Seeb Airport area.
If you choose to drive, you will require an Oman driver's license. The sponsor will assist in the application procedures. Residents from other countries have to pass an eye test and a driving test before an Oman driver's license will be issued.
Residents from many countries can simply transfer the driver's license from their home country to an Oman driver's license after an eye test. The only condition is that they have held the license for one year or more. It costs RO20 to transfer the license, which can be done at the traffic police headquarters.
There is no health card in Oman. You will need to undergo a medical test as part of your residency process.
Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
For the residence permit, it is advisable to process applications through the sponsor as soon as you arrive. It is possible to start driving on the basis of your foreign driver’s license or an international license, but only for a limited period. The first few weeks, you will need to spend some time going through the various tests and applications. Home search and school search will also take priority. If your company does not provide accommodation, the best place to start looking is the Oman 2day Magazine for estate agents’ contact numbers.
What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
Avoid alcohol, pork products and materials that might be deemed pornographic by the local authorities.
Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
Residence permits and visas must be extended well before expiration to avoid penalties.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.