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ROP’s decision on visit visas hailed

31 May 2021

Royal Oman Police’s decision to allow visit visas to be converted to work permits has been hailed by expatriates in the country. 

Lt Gen Hasan bin Mohsin al Shuraiqi, Inspector General of Police and Customs, issued decision No 142/ 2021 to amend some provisions of the executive regulations of the Foreigners’ Residence Law. The decision states that visitors entering Oman on visit visas can get them converted to work permits. The rule also applies to those with family joining visas and student visas, among others, provided stipulated conditions are met. 

According to the decision, competent authorities can convert the following visas stipulated in the Foreigners’ Residence Law to a work visa or temporary work visa: a visit visa issued to residents of GCC countries, a visit visa issued to meet relatives and friends in the country, single-entry tourist visas (valid for up to ten days or a month), single- and multiple-entry business visas, express visas, investor visas, student visas, visas provided to sailors serving on board or passengers aboard cruise ships, and visas for owners of residential units and their family members.

Reacting to the decision, businessman Naser al Hosni said, “This will help revive the economy by giving new impetus to the educational and tourism sectors, and consequently increasing the national income. The decision will make Oman an attractive environment for tourists and students.”

Fathy Najm, a teacher in Muscat, described the decision as “very important” as it will provide resident families psychological stability and make the Omani market attractive for investments. 

Curiously, Syed Husnain’s visit visa was converted to a job visa in March. “I was anxious because my extended visit visa was about to expire. But authorities changed my visit visa to work visa, which was surprising as this was done even before the official announcement in this regard was made.”

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