Before visiting Oman, all foreign citizens should check the Oman visa requirements to see if they require a travel document to enter the country. There are only a few nationalities who are visa-exempt for Oman, citizens of Gulf Cooperation Countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
All other foreign citizens are required to obtain an Oman visa to enter the country. A number of foreign nationalities were previously able to obtain a visa on arrival for Oman, but this system has largely been phased out following the introduction of the Oman eVisa in March 2018.
Although it may still be possible to obtain an Oman visa on arrival at select points of entry in Oman, travelers are advised to apply for an electronic visa before departure, in order to ensure they can gain access to the country.
Can Travelers Get an Oman Visa on Arrival?
Citizens of 71 eligible countries, including all European Union nations, Australia, Japan, and the United States, were previously able to obtain a visa on arrival for Oman at select border checkpoints in the country.
However, the implementation of the online Oman tourist visa for citizens of the same eligible has been designed to replace the previous system and expedite the visa application process.
When the online visa system was first introduced, it was still possible for eligible citizens to obtain either an eVisa or visa on arrival for Oman. However, the government of Oman announced that it would stop issuing visas on arrival in February 2019 at the majority of the border entry points.
Nevertheless, the government has maintained a grace period for the visa on arrival to ensure that those that arrive in Oman without an eVisa are still able to gain access to the country. Accordingly, it is currently still possible for eligible citizens to obtain a visa on arrival at Muscat Airport, the main international airport in Oman.
Can Travelers Get an Oman Visa at Muscat Airport?
At the moment, the government has maintained the visa on arrival facilities at Muscat International Airport so as not to discourage travelers who have not realized it is now necessary to apply for an Oman eVisa to visit the country.
Citizens from countries eligible for the eVisa are currently still able to apply for a visa on arrival in a designated area of Muscat arrivals terminal before passport control. However, the process involves waiting in the visa on arrival queue and then having to pass through immigration control to gain entry to the country.
Relying on the Visa on arrival option for Oman also means that travelers are taking the chance that their airline will let them board their flight without a valid visa for Oman. The visa on arrival application process will also not be available forever: the government is planning to totally replace the Muscat visa facilities with the online visa in the near future.
Alternatives to the Oman Visa on Arrival
Citizens who were previously eligible for the visa on arrival are now able to submit an online application for a tourist visa for Oman through a simple online application. In order to apply, it is necessary to have a passport from an eligible country valid for 6 months from the intended date of entry to Oman.
The online form only takes a few minutes to complete with personal and passport information to receive an approved eVisa for Oman via email. It usually takes around 24 hours for the eVisa to be processed, but this may take longer in some cases.
Once the visa is approved, travelers are able to print a copy of the eVisa to present at Oman border control to gain expedited entry to the country, eliminating the need to wait in the visa on arrival line before passing through Oman border control.
The online visa for Oman is available as either a single entry visa that permits stays of 30 days in Oman, or as a multiple entry visa which allows a total stay of 30 days during its 1-year validity. Those who wish to visit Oman for longer consecutive periods are required to apply for a visa from an Omani embassy or consulate.