Muscat -The hike in visa fees has been announced by the government following the amendment of the expatriate residence law.
The fee hike, effective from October 19, does not include change in the employment visa charges. The fee for express visa, which is valid for three weeks from the date of entry, has been raised from RO7 to RO30. The family joining and family residence visa which cost RO7 till now has been increased to RO20.
The student visa, whose validity ranges from one to two years from the date of entry, has increased from RO7 to RO20. Relative/friend visit visa which is valid for one month and is valid for one entry has been raised to RO20. It was RO6 earlier.
Employment contracting visa is now RO20. It was RO6. For a temporary employment visa the applicant must be 21 years and above. The sponsor must have a valid licence to bring the employees. This visa will be valid only for three months.
Official visit visa which is valid for three months from the date of entry stands at RO20. Troupe (artiste) visa fee which was RO6 is now RO20. Multiple entry visa now costs RO50. It was RO10 earlier.
Entry visa for passenger and crew of passenger ships for less than 24 hours will be granted free. If it is for 96 hours, it will cost RO5. Shipping companies sponsoring the cruise will be responsible for any eventualities during their stay here. Entry visa fee for foreigners who are residents in AGCC states was RO3 is now RO5. Expats less than 18 years old can enter free of charge. The stay period for expatriates coming to the Sultanate through the borders is extended to five days. It was initially three days.
Seamen’s transit visa fee has not changed and stands at RO5. However visa fee for truck drivers which was RO7 is now RO20.
Tourist visa fee which was RO6 is now increased to RO20. Transit by air or land is RO5. Emergency visa fee is RO15.
Transfer of work visa will cost RO20. The cost of scientific research visa and business owner visa stands at RO50. Those seeking an investor’s visa should contact the Ministry of Manpower.
Support staff of GCC nationals like servants and drivers should be accompanied by their sponsors and any member of the sponsor’s family. This is applicable to women married to GCC nationals too. Their visa is valid for one month and they can keep renewing it. This is free of charge. Nationals of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have to pay RO5.
Several expatriate communities will be affected by the change especially since most of the visa services are used by them.
Courtesy: Oman TImes, Oct 23,1010