Sunday 20 September 2020

Oman rolls out new 3-month stay multiple entry visa

MUSCAT, July 28, 2016

Visitors from 38 countries will now be able to extend their stay in Oman to three months, instead of three weeks, following the government's move to relax its rules on multiple entry visas, said a report.

The move, which came into effect from July 20, is part of efforts to boost the economy, said a report in Times of Oman.

Government officials hope the extension will allow investors more time to scout the country and give tourists more time to spend money, it said.

Business leaders welcomed the news as a potential shot-in-the-arm to Oman but expats from India and other neighbouring countries — currently not included in the approved country list — feel they should also be allowed the benefit.

Inbound tourism to Oman in 2015 generated OMR250.9 million ($651.9 million), almost double that of 2005, according to statistics from the government web portal.

The new multiple visa rules prove to be beneficial for tourists and investors as well, who have faced fines under the old system, where they were allowed to stay for just 21 days on a first trip under the multiple entry visa.

A media spokesman for the Royal Oman Police confirmed that the new rule was introduced on July 20 and anyone applying from a country on Oman’s Country list  would be able to obtain it, at a cost of OMR50 ($129.90).

Some 38 countries’ citizens are eligible for the new visa, including, the UK, most of central Europe, Ireland and parts of eastern Europe. India, Bangladesh and the Philippines citizens can apply for the extended visa but require a sponsor in Oman.

Mohammed Hassan Al Ansi, vice-chairman of the Committee for Logistics and Transportation Affairs at the OCCI, said: “It is an excellent decision but it has to have regulations. The decision also includes more countries than the 22 that are already determined. If you want to bring investors and experts, they have to visit the country, study the market and asses the situation; three weeks wouldn’t be enough.”

Tags: Oman | Visa | Multiple | month | three | entry |

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