The Government of Oman recently announced its long awaited plan to introduce electronic visas for most nationalities including the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. Starting March 21st, visitors to Oman will no longer be able to apply for a visa on arrival and will need to apply for an electronic visa prior to traveling to Oman.
The Government of Oman previously allowed travelers to apply for an entry visa on arrival at Muscat International Airport and at most major border crossings including the popular Hatta border crossing with the United Arab Emirates.
The new policy will require travelers to apply for an e-visa before traveling to Oman. The Oman e-visa allows travelers to complete an application online and then submit the required information along with payment. The e-visa will take about 72 hours to be processed.
Oman has been experiencing a tourism boom in the past few years and received over 2 million tourists in 2017. The trend is expected to continue in the next several years as the Government of Oman is expecting to receive more than 4 million tourists by 2027. The Oman e-visa program is expected to help streamline the visa process and allow travelers to comfortably and easily apply for an entry visa to the country.
Oman is following a general trend of instituting electronic visas. Several countries have instituted e-visas in the past years including India and Brazil. The e-visa process allows governments to screen travelers and offer greater flexibility and ease in applying for a visa rather than having travelers have to go through the lengthy and bureaucratic process of applying for a physical visa at an Omani Embassy.