Oman announces new visa rules

The sultanate is hoping to welcome more than four million tourists annually by 2020

Oman’s National Gas Company terminates CEO

Oman is implementing changes to its application process for tourism and express visas, the eVisa Oman Twitter account said on Sunday.

Citing the directorate of public relations at Royal Oman Police, the account of the official online visa system said applications for both visa types would no longer be accepted at traditional visa service desks.

Instead foreigners will need to apply online via the Royal Oman Police eVisa website (www.evisa.rop.gov.om) where they must fill in an application form and pay by debit or credit card.

The changes come into effect on March 21.

Oman launched the e-visa service in July last year in an effort to increase international tourism.

In its first phase the system was open to people from 67 countries as well as GCC residents employed in 116 professions.

Read: Oman launches new e-visa service for tourists, GCC residents

The country also eased restrictions for passport holders from 25 countries in October by allowing those with entry visas to the UK, US, Canada, Australia or the Schengen area (EU) to obtain a non-sponsored tourist visa.

Read: Oman eases visa rules for tourists from 25 countries

However, the tourism visa fee is now significantly higher than it was previously after being quadrupled in April last year from OMR5 ($13) to OMR20 ($52).

Read: Oman quadruples cost of tourist visas

The length of stay has also been increased from 10 days to a month with further extensions possible.

The sultanate is hoping to welcome more than four million tourists annually by 2020.