News Oman

New: Oman eVisa

March 9, 2016

Oman eVisaThe new Oman eVisa is now available! If you have ever obtained an Omani tourist visa-on-arrival you will applaud this new service to cut your immigration time. Update March, 2018 – Visa-on-arrival is basically eliminated for all nationals at all ports of entry. All tourists must use the eVisa system. Visit my latest post on Oman’s visa policy, further updates, and more details.

I had a look at the website and put in a few nationalities to see what specific services are available for different nationalities. My goal was to see who this will benefit.

Basically the Oman eVisa service is only helpful for citizens of group 1 countries wishing to enter on a tourist visa. All other nations and visa types will have to continue using the standard system.

Oman eVisa
For a complete guide to getting into Oman, visit my constantly updated Oman - Get In guide here. On this page I tell you about all the dos and dont's when coming to the sultanate, whether it's by airplane, car, or boat. I even give you my tips to go along with all the important visa information. Check it out.
Still, this will be a big positive for tourism in Oman because the visa-on-arival, while simple and straight forward, was too crowded at times and delayed tourist greatly.

Between Christmas and New Year’s this year, I went to collect the lovely Lady M at the airport. She was due to arrive at 7:35 am, on an Oman Air flight from London. It took about two hours for her and her friend to exit customs. What was the hold up?

Within the span of 15 minutes, from 7:20-7:35 am, eight flights are scheduled to land, including three from Europe; Zurich, Paris, and London. With no Oman eVisa at the time, visa-on-arrival was the preferred option for most tourists, and the queue was long and slow. Purchasing the visa at the counter was the bottleneck, not the actual immigration process with the officer.

From my analyzation of the arrivals schedule at Muscat International Airport, there are two periods which see a large number of arrivals to our quaint airport; 7:20-7:35 am with 8 flights and 12:40-1255 pm with 9 flights.

Lady M is visiting again soon, and was planning to try and get a tourist visa at the Omani Embassy in London to avoid the long queue again. But now, with the new Oman eVisa there is no need.

Oh, I almost forgot. Check out the new eVisa system here.

Do you have any experiences to share regarding the Oman eVisa process in Oman or any other country? Tell me about it in the comments below:

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  • Reply Lady M March 18, 2016 at 0552

    Yesterday I applied for an e-visa for Oman and I am happy to report back on this process. The link above takes you straight to the correct web page (I’m always a little afraid of bogus visa sites) and you follow the instructions. It’s quite straightforward and the whole application only takes 15 minutes. At the end of the process your e-visa receipt is issued to you by email. You should then print off the receipt and take it to the passport control thus bypassing the aforementioned queue – hooray!

    A few helpful hints: 1) You need at least 6 months left on your existing passport to apply 2) You need to upload a photocopy of your passport and a recent photo so have these to hand 3) When entering your email address, if the @ doesn’t appear when you type it, try entering the ‘2 ‘ key (I think the system is based on an American keyboard)

    Time saved = 1 hour 45 minutes! Thanks D

    • Reply D. Michael March 18, 2016 at 1254

      Bloody Americans! Thanks for the update.

    • Reply John February 10, 2017 at 2055

      very useful this information. However, I didn’t need to upload a copy of my passport nor a photo. Maybe things have changed since last year.

      FYI, it’s the standard British keyboard that has the @ symbol as SHIFT+2.

      • Reply D. Michael February 10, 2017 at 2315

        Thanks for the update John!

  • Reply PR August 31, 2016 at 1807

    I am a British national and my wife is an Indian national and we live in Switzerland. I understand that she is elgible for the visa on arrival as long as she is married to me and travels with me as country 1 national. Is this correct?

    • Reply D. Michael September 2, 2016 at 2127

      You will want to direct your question to a travel agent and/or the airline you are booked with.
      I cannot say for sure in your case, and I do not want to steer you in the wrong direction.

      Whatever the result, be sure to bring evidence with you to the airport for check-in. Oftentimes the check-in staff are not fully up to speed with the visa rules. I was checking into a flight for Muscat from Los Angeles and the Emirates staff insisted that I have a visa in my passport before I could check-in, and I could not get a visit visa on arrival with my US passport… Not true.

  • Reply John March 26, 2017 at 1153

    E-Visa application worked a treat! Excited to be re-visiting Oman later today! Keep up the good work Mr D! :)

    • Reply D. Michael March 26, 2017 at 2318

      Glad it worked out. It’s a good system. Thanks for sharing, and please inform if something has changed.

  • Reply Debi June 23, 2017 at 0311

    I am a UAE visit visa holder from Bolivia (list A) so i am alegible to get a on arrival visa to Oman, i just wanna make sure im still eligible if i am coming from Dubai holding the 3months visit visa of UAE. Please any help, other links are not clear and i still have the doubt

    • Reply D. Michael July 4, 2017 at 1614

      Bolivians can get 30 day visas on arrival for 20 OMR, but better to use the online system to make sure. Special: As a visitor coming directly from Dubai, you are eligible for a Dubai / Oman Common Visa: Allows a visit to Oman for a person who is on the list of eligible nationalities, and who has a current tourist visa which was used to enter the Emirate of Dubai, and now wishes to enter Oman directly from Dubai. FOR NO FEE! That would be good for 21 days if you have 21 days remaining on your Dubai visa, and you enter at Al-Wajajah land crossing, or at Muscat airport. Otherwise you will have to get the 30 day visa for 20 OMR. Enjoy your visit.

  • Reply Ali September 16, 2017 at 1549

    D. Michael, thank you for this great blog! Lots of useful information.

    Not sure if you can help me with this, but my family of 4 and I have a 10 hour layover in Muscat. We were hoping to get out and explore the city, but the 20 OMR visa per passenger seems a bit steep. I have found contradicting information regarding the existence of separate transit visas for passengers with onward bookings. Do you have any knowledge of that?

    Also, if we do get out, we are thinking of renting a car, visiting the beaches/pools (that’s how I found this site!) and grabbing a lunch before we make our way back to the airport. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again.

    • Reply D. Michael September 21, 2017 at 1012

      Hi Ali, I am glad that you like the website and find it useful.

      I have no first hand knowledge about transit visa, other than them being listed on the official eVisa website. Just search for “Visit Unsponsored visas.” It appears you can apply only at the airport, and it’ll cost you 5 OMR.

      If you can get out on a transit visa, I’d suggest to not try and do everything. Maybe go and relax at the Grand Hayatt where you have a pool, the beach, and nice food. Depending on how the cost compares, you might find it easier to take a taxi instead of hiring a car. Sometimes it can take 30 minutes or more just to get all the paperwork sorted and loaded up, and by that time you could already be in the pool!

      Other things you might like to do on your layover include:

      Enjoy, and let me know how it goes!

  • Reply Kevin from Canada October 13, 2017 at 0122

    Has anyone (from either Canada or US) successfully obtained an e-visa? I tried today and it failed repeatedly to process the payment. I called their processing company (Cybersecurity owned by Visa) and they told me it was because the drop down menu on the website does not allow the Province (Canada) or State (US) to be entered so I wonder whether there is some workaround. Would like to minimize time on arrival since we land at 145am! Thanks

    • Reply D. Michael October 15, 2017 at 1553

      Hi Kevin, I need to update this page a little because my friend was facing similar problems from the UK recently. I now, no longer, have faith in the eVisa system of Oman. Just get visa on arrival. There aren’t many flight landing at that time, so the visitor line should be small.

  • Reply Max October 30, 2017 at 2024

    Hello. I recently applied for and received a tourist eVisa for Oman. However, the email that came with the visa stated that the document wasn’t actually the visa, just proof that I was approved for a visa. If this isn’t the actual visa then where do I get the visa from? I’m hoping that this is actually just a wording issue on the email.

    Also, there was a date error in my original application which was sent back for correction before my visa was issued. However, the issues visa still displays the date error. Any ideas how I can get this fixed? I’ve email the Royal Oman Police but no response as of yet.

    Thank you

    • Reply D. Michael October 31, 2017 at 0952

      Hi Max,
      This is normal with eVisa systems around the world, the system is used to pre-approve you, collect your money, and issue the approval. After that you collect your actual visa on arrival. For Oman, basically you can skip the payment line at the airport and go right to the immigration officer, potentially saving you a lot of time.

      Regarding the error… I don’t know what to say. Keep all the proof with you if there are questions at the airport. This can help you explain the situation and error. If you are from one of the group 1 countries I wouldn’t worry about it. Also, don’t hold your breath waiting for he ROP to respond.

      Let me know how it goes, and thanks for the question.

      • Reply Max October 31, 2017 at 1503

        D. Michael, thank you for the quick response. I am from one of the group 1 countries so hopefully this won’t be a problem. I managed to speak to someone at the Royal Oman Police office at Muscat airport who told me that the date error won’t be a problem as the visa has been approved. Let’s hope that is the case.

        • Reply D. Michael November 1, 2017 at 0021

          Great! I’m impressed you got a call back from the ROP. Enjoy your visit.

  • Reply Max November 1, 2017 at 0031

    One last question if you don’t mind.
    Roughly how much would a local taxi cost from the airport to the Sheraton in Ruwi? I just want to have an idea so that I don’t get overcharged.

    • Reply D. Michael November 1, 2017 at 1209

      Great question Max, taxis and busses are topics that are on my list to cover on the site. It’s a giant task!
      So, the airport taxis (blue) have a meter, which makes it easy. The meter starts and 6 OMR and goes up 200 baisa for every kilometer traveled. Your trip from the airport to the Sheraton should cost you 12.800 OMR calculated at 34 kilometers. Yes, it’s a bit pricey when compared to other GCC countries, in fact it’s the highest of them all. However, the airport taxis are comfortable, hassle free, and operated by local Omanis; a nice welcome into the sultanate.

      Insist on a meter with these guys. The drivers fought the government to instal meters and then sometimes try not to use them these days. If they say it is broken, ask for another taxi. That is a sure sign of a shady driver. The meter rate is very fair according to the government.

      If you want to save money you can hire an orange taxi. They are not allowed to enter the airport to collect passengers, but the drivers wait wearing their white dishdashas near the mosque just outside and across the drive from arrivals. Just walk to the parking area beyond and someone will ask you if you need a taxi. Nobody will be pushy like other countries. You will, however, need to negotiate a flat rate. They do not have meters. If you are good you might be able to negotiate 8 OMR. Good luck.

  • Reply ifty May 18, 2018 at 0238

    “Basically the Oman eVisa service is only helpful for citizens of group 1 countries wishing to enter on a tourist visa. All other nations and visa types will have to continue using the standard system.”

    Is this still applicable? Do all other nations have to apply using the standard system?

  • Reply Richard Reade April 3, 2019 at 2237

    Won’t accept payment so not useful at all I’m afraid.

    • Reply D. Michael May 4, 2019 at 1421

      The system is so hit and miss. It’s really frustrating. Thanks for your feedback Richard. I hope your trip is better than your visa system experience. My guess it will be :)

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