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Mixed reactions to visit visa validity extension

15 Jun 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

While some of the visitors who had come on visit visas to Oman are rejoicing about the free visa extension, others are finding the wait too long to go back home.  Recently, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said those currently on visit or express visit visas will now have them automatically extended till June 30, 2020.

The ROP has said both visas will be extended due to the closure of the airport services. “Visit and express visas of all those who are in the country but are overstaying due to the airport closure, will be automatically renewed and extended till June 30,” an ROP official said.

The visas, which had automatically been extended to June 15, will be extended for another two weeks since the airport is still closed for commercial flights.

While some visitors are happy about this decision, other feel that their time is running out as they miss their families back home. “I’m happy about this delay because most of my relatives are in Oman. This is the first time I have stayed in Oman for so long. The good news is that I have been able to meet all my relatives,” Asma Amir, who came on a three month visit visa in December from Burundi, said.

For Ahmed Salim, a Ugandan who had just come for a short medical visit with his father, however, the wait has been so too long. “I miss home and my family. I just cant keep up for so long. I wish the airports could open quickly for me to leave. However, I thank Oman’s government for all that they have done to waive off the visa delay fees,” he said.

Also, those who had applied to come to visit Oman for tourism and got visas, which were not used, will have them valid till March 31, 2021. On Thursday, Ahmed al Mehrazi, Minister of Tourism, said tourist visas that were issued from March 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020, will be reissued with a new validity period up to March 31, 2021.

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