The visit visa is the most standard visa that allows basic entry into Oman. It is required that all foreign nationals must obtain a valid entry visa to enter Oman, unless they are from a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.
Visit visas come in different forms, including business, tourist and family visit visas. All types of visit visas do not allow the employee to engage in business activities.
Visit visas are valid for six months from the date of issuance, and the stay in Oman is limited to one month, except for family visit visas which permit stays of up to three months.
This visa may be obtained at all ports of entry in Oman or from Omani diplomatic missions and commercial representation offices. These visas do not require to approval of the Directorate General of Passports and Residency in Muscat.
It is not possible to extend the length of the visa.
Fee: OMR 20
Scientific Research visa
These visas are the same as the visit visa, and are issued to foreigners entering Oman for scientific research. They must be requested by the local specialized authorities.
The scientific research visa permits the holder to stay in Oman for three months, and may be extended up to an additional two months.
Fee: OMR 50
Employers must obtain employment visas for any foreign employees aged 21 or older for entry into Oman. This is the standard visa for employers to sponsor a foreign national for work in Oman. The employment requires the approval of the Directorate General of Labor Affairs.
The employment visa requires the employer to have labor clearance from the Ministry of Manpower. The employee must satisfy approval criteria to be eligible for an employment visa, including Omanization quotas for the minimum level of Omani nationals employed in the company.
The duration of the employment visa is limited to two years from the date of entry. Even after entry, the employee is not allowed to work until all the necessary applications are processed, including the residence permit.
Employees holding employment visas must not exit Oman for longer than six months, unless they are family members. Family members may apply for a family joining visa, allowing the employee’s family to reside in Oman but not work for the duration of employment.
Fee: 20 OMR
Investors’ visas: Investor visas are intended for foreigners who intend to invest funds in Oman. This visa must be approved by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Family Joining visa
This visa is granted to the wife of the foreign employee and any children under the age of 21. The approval process requires a certificate from the Ministry of Interior to confirm the status of marriage.
It is at the discretion of the Ministry of Interior to grant the family visa. The family visa expires once the employee’s residence permit expires.
Fee: OMR 20
The procedure for sponsoring a foreign worker to work in an Omani company rests mostly on the employer, who must obtain several documents if they are to remain an employee for an extended duration. The employer must acquire an employment visa for entry into Oman, a resident card to remain in the country and a residence permit. In Oman, all these documents apply to employees who are between the age of 21 and 60 who have received a job offer from an Omani company. The employer becomes the visa sponsor and will usually obtain the necessary visas and permits from the Ministry of Manpower.
1. Procuring a Labor License
The first step of the sponsorship process is for the employer to obtain a Labor License from the Ministry of Manpower to be able to bring a foreign employee under employment. The employer submits a procurement application form to be submitted to the specialized directorate in the Ministry of Manpower.
The Labor License provides Labor Clearance for the employer to hire expatriates. A successful application must meet several requirements:
- The company is compliant with Omanization rules, where the maximum quota for foreign employees in that sector has not been reached.
- The total number of requested staff to be foreign nationals is appropriate for the operations of the company
- The requested expatriate staff have the appropriate certifications
The Ministry of Manpower will require documentation to provide clearance. Once the Labor Clearance status has been obtained, the employer is legally allowed to hire the specified foreign employees.
Employer Documentation Required
- Omanization plan, describing all positions that will be filed by Omani nationals at certain times
- List of desired expatriate employees, disclosing positions and genders
- Copies of all passports of foreign employees
- Attested copies of relevant certificates of qualification for employees
- Attestation of transcripts from educational institutions
- Attestation by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the employee’s home country
- Attestation by the Oman Embassy in the employee’s home country
Time: Labor Clearance may take up to two years. For medium and large-sized employers with a good reputation and track record, they may apply for a green card to reduce the Labor Clearance process to as short as 6 months.
Cost: OMR 201 per position applied. Service fees vary depending on company and industry.
2. Job offer to the employee
The employer in Oman sends a letter of invitation to all employees who satisfy the conditions and quotas for the Labor Clearance.
3. Issuance of employment visa
The employer must obtain individual employment visas for each expatriate to be sponsored. The employer must submit an employment visa application to the Immigration Department of the Royal Oman Police, and may be conducted through a one-stop shop.
Certain requirements must be met by the employee for a valid visa application, which include:
- The employee must be between 21 and 60 years old
- The person must be of the same sex as stated in the labor permit
- The occupation and position must be identical to the one stated in the labor permit
- Some nationalities require special permits
- Foreign nationals from certain countries require a medical certificate
A medical certificate may be required by foreigners in certain countries, who must go to an approved clinic in the home country for a physical medical fitness test to confirm they are fit to work in Oman. This includes medical fitness certificates for all dependents who will accompany to employee. The certificate must be attested by the Ministry of Health and submitted to the employer before the visa application.
Employer Documentation Required
- A copy of each employee’s passport with at least six months’ validity
- A copy of the Labor License issued by the Ministry of Manpower for each application form
- The letter of invitation or job offer from a registered company in the Sultanate
- An attested medical certificate issued by an approved clinic for employees in certain countries (India, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, etc.)
- Two recent passport photographs
- Any relevant proof of qualifications or education
Cost: OMR 20 + OMR 201 under the Labor License
4. Issuance of residence card
Once the employment visa is cleared for the employee, the expatriate must obtain a residence card to legally reside in Oman for the duration of employment. This is done when the foreign employee reaches Oman.
The employee, upon arrival, must travel to the Civil Status Department of the Royal Oman Police to obtain the residence card within 30 days of entry. The employee will undergo a blood test at a medical center and guided for fingerprinting. Once the data has been collected, the Directorate General of Civil Status will issue the resident card to the employee, which is valid for two years.
Employee Documentation Required
- Two recent passport photographs
- Original passport
- Copy of the passport
Cost: OMR 10 for processing the medical test.
5. Obtaining a No Objection Certificate
For any circumstance that requires the employee to change jobs, terminate the employment contract prematurely or to have the contract expire, they will be required to leave the country for at least two years unless they obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC), which is a document that states that both the sponsoring employer and the government of Oman have no issues with the employee working in the country.
The authorization process is lengthy and the NOC is not issued often. If it is authorized, it may be collected from the port of entry along with the visa.
6. The employee may commence work
Once the employment visa and residence card has been received by the employee, they may commence work with the employer in Oman.