Visa fee hike could raise $325m for Oman

Proposed changes to visa renewal fees could bring in OMR 125m, according to the Shura member behind the proposal



Oman could be in line to receive an extra OMR 125m ($325m) per year if changes to expat visa renewal fees are approved by the Majlis Al Shura.

Tawfiq Al Lawati, a Shura member who submitted the proposal, told local media that the country could generate the extra money if the current renewal fee is increased from OMR 200 to OMR 300.

He is quoted as saying: “At present, the government collects OMR 250m in visa renewal fees. Now, even by increasing the minimum from OMR 200 to 300 it will bring in OMR 125m. And by calculating 3 per cent for those who earn more, it will bring in extra money.”

If the proposal is accepted, those who earn less than OMR 300 would pay OMR 300 as a visa renew fee, while those who earn more than OMR 300 would pay 3 per cent of their monthly salary for two years at the time of renewing their visa.

Oman has adopted a number of measures to boost its coffers after the dip in oil prices created a budget deficit. Official statistics show that $14bn in revenues was lost in 2015, and the new budget projects $8.6bn in deficit spending in 2016.

The sultanate will look to improve non-oil revenues, cut expenditure, and has set up a special panel to explore ways to overcome the economic difficulties.