Close

Tourist Visa to Oman Rejected, Next step?

Hello Everyone,  :cheers:

This happens to be my first post on expat.com, so please bear with me.
After trying a lot everywhere else yet not being able to find much help, I hope I can get some useful advice and suggestions here, to resolve my issue.

Before I delve into the issue, a little background on me for the purpose of giving you more clarity. I'm a 22 yr old student from India and this happens to be the first time that I planned for a trip abroad, since I have a few Friends & Acquaintances from Oman (basically to meet them and for tourism).

So the visa process to Oman not being straightforward, this has been dragged on for quite sometime, first in the search of finding  a sponsor and then finding a way to clear the visa. Being a student I was trying to keep my travel costs low, however that was not possible if I had to go the travel agency way. So I thought of trying to find someone who could sponsor me (my Friends & Acquaintances are students like me so they can't sponsor me) and unfortunately, I failed miserably in that. So, finding no other way I had to come the Travel Agency way, which I half heartedly did, though I was still trying to look for ways to lower the costs by negotiating in which I again failed as most agencies were not ready for that. (I was told that I can't make bookings on my own and have to take an all inclusive package to be able to get Visa assistance, which of course skyrocketed the budget as I could book hotels only with them for the whole of my stay, while I was able to get better deals on my own). Anyhow, again not finding any other way I finally applied with an all inclusive package with a 10 Days Visa in all my excitement but to my utter disappointment, my Visa Application had been rejected for which I was given no reason by the Travel Agency. So I applied again through another travel agency, and got rejected again, this time being given the reason that I had to clear my previous visa application. So I contacted the previous travel agency and after a great deal of negotiations with the help of Oman Tourism Office in India, was told by the travel agency that this time I must provide my credentials that prove that my travel plans are legitimate and I don't plan on staying back in Oman illegally seeking employment opportunity, and depending on my response they would see if to go forward or not. So, I told them my legitimate reasons of travel which they didn't like and so questioned my persistence on travelling to Oman. So, this time the travel agency itself refused to help me further with the Visa (Gah!). Anyhow, keeping with my persistence on travelling to Oman (yes with the legitimate purpose of meeting my Friends & Acquaintances and tourism) I again approached this previous agency with the help of my Omani Friends & Acquaintances. So this time I provided some extra documentations and my Omani acquaintance told me that the agency will get back soon, anyhow after some waiting and not getting any answer from them, we approached them again and were again refused for the Visa Application. After consulting a few other agencies I was told by one that I should persuade the previous agency as a two time rejection in the Oman Visa Authorities database would have created a Red Flag against my passport and that could also cause problems in the future if I happen to plan on visiting some other GCC country (i.e. UAE, Bahrain etc).

At this point I'm quite frustrated with this whole thing, yet I still wouldn't want to miss visiting Oman to meet my friends and tour around. If I MUST answer my persistence on travelling to Oman, I have a valid personal reason which I would prefer to not talk about here.

So I would like to know what could I do next? How else could I prove to them that I do not intend on staying back in Oman and would return back (I've already provided them my credentials like my college bonafide certificate, fathers credentials etc which I thought would prove my legitimacy). Would giving them the personal reason of persistence to travel help my cause?

Any sort of suggestion, advice, help is very much welcome. So please drop in and let me know if you have anything.

Thanks a lot for reading this long one. Much Appreciated.

Cheers!
Himanshu

Hi Himanshu.Saini,

Sorry to hear of your plight. Guess you were ill informed about the processes and procedures of trying to get for yourself a visit visa to Oman.

Whatever is your compelling reason to visit the Sultanate, is compelling only for you.

For the authorities issuing your visa, you would be slotted under a ‘high-risk’ category of someone who has every reason to come on a visit and stay back indefinitely.

Even if you were to share your most confidential person reason to visit the Sultanate, it may not cut much ice with the authorities since your personal reason is entirely yours.

No fault of yours. But that is how the system works. Also, you must be aware that not everyone who applies for a visit visa would be granted one.

Lately, there has been a number of human rights violation crimes and such similar cases here in Oman, which has made the process of issuing visit visas even more stringent and scrupulous. I am not just saying this. This is published news.

Until and unless one has a local (read ‘Omani’) sponsor, individuals cannot come even on a visit. And travel agencies usually apply for visit visas for groups of tourists and not necessarily to individuals. So planning to travel as a part of group would have been a wiser decision.

However, as you have mentioned the travel agency would of course charge you for the entire package, inclusive of accommodation, sightseeing, and all other costs, which would have made it an expensive proposition for you.

Have you explored the eVisa option available in the Royal Oman Police’s website ? Click here https://www.rop.gov.om/visa/english/onl … ation.aspx and try your luck there. If this too does not not work, then quite frankly, your chances of getting a visit visa to enter the Sultanate are slim.

The next best option would be for you to finish your studies, find for yourself a job here, and get your future employer to apply for a 2-year employment visa.

To safeguard your future travels to the GCC countries in the near future, it would be better for you to get for yourself a new passport. As already mentioned to you, your present passport could already be placed under the scanner.

Hello Mr.Sumitran,

Thank You for your kind advice, much appreciated. I do see that you are quite an active member and make it a point to advise everyone seeking help on Oman Forums as a goodwill. And yes I do think I was ill-informed and ill-advised even while I applied with Travel Agencies, I say this because in my opinion a Travel Agency is supposed to be able assist you and guide you in making your travel plans right.

As for e-visa, it wouldn't work for me as even you mentioned that I must have an Omani sponsor to apply for any kind of Visa to Oman (I do have Omani acquaintances and friends but being students they can't sponsor me though when I had approached the Travel Agency again, my Omani Acquaintance did provide them with an Invitation Letter).

And yes I do understand the incessant problem of Illegal Workers in Oman and issues related to migrant workers, if that's what you are referring to when mentioning the Human Rights Violations and related Crimes.

For the authorities issuing your visa, you would be slotted under a ‘high-risk’ category of someone who has every reason to come on a visit and stay back indefinitely.

I'm unsure I understood, could you please clear that bit for me?

From my understanding being an Indian student travelling single without any previous travel history contributes to this factor, correct me if I'm wrong. And if this is correct then would taking up a volunteer opportunity in another GCC country, help me in visiting Oman for a few days, during that volunteership? (I have access to Volunteer Opportunities through an International Exchange organization which I am part of). Or would building upon my travel history be of any help, in proving that I'm a legitimate traveller? Apart from this, is there any positive chance in applying for a Transit Visa as I read that it will allow for a stay of 3 Days? I also came across a News Report in an Omani News Site that a Transit Visa has a huge potential in attracting Indian Tourists and Oman Tourism is exploring its prospects.

I was told the same thing about travelling in a group but again I don't have anyone to travel along with me to Oman as among my peers it doesn't seem to be much of a touristy place. Apart from other personal reasons to travel to Oman, one reason is that one of my Omani acquaintance would be getting married next year and I've already missed such important events before, so wouldn't like to miss this one at least.

Cheers!
Himanshu

Some responses on your post above ...

eVisa can be applied for and can be issued even without the need of a local sponsor. At least, that’s what was advertised by the ROP when they had put out an announcement ad in the daily English and Arabic newspapers when this service was launched and was first announced to the public a couple of years back. That’s why I suggested you take a closer look at that option.

You would inadvertently fall under one of the many ‘high-risk’ categories, since you could be perceived to carry the provisions needed for an expatriate who intends on staying back indefinitely. Age, educational background, marital status, temporary and individual visa request could all send wrong signals. That is how those sitting on the other side of the table would view your application. Else, by now you should have received your visit visa.

By making your visit formal, through a voluntary organisation would certainly help your case, since you would be seen as being attached to an organisation and hence your chances of absconding are that much lesser. And, even if you do abscond, the authorities would have the organisation to contact enquiring of your whereabouts, should they ever decide to do so.

Thank You again for the prompt reply Mr.Sumitran. I'm guessing e-Visa is applicable for the nationals of some 48 countries, since that's what I read on the ROP website and Oman portal and also when I did check the link you sent me I was required to fill up the sponsor details.

In that case, wouldn't it work the same way if my Omani acquaintances give an invitation letter with attached national ID (which they actually already did)? Since, the authorities can contact even my acquaintances if they have a reason to do so.

Another thing that now concerns me is if I change my purpose of travel while applying again would it negatively affect my situation? Now I think it's more of a psychological work as you have to understand what the people on the other side of the table are thinking and how you can tailor your responses based on their thinking.

I must also mention that I was suggested by another travel agency that among many other possible reasons of rejection one reason could be that my passport/visa could have been misused since the first travel agency had not asked me for any other documents validating my travel plans or payments, which usually other travel agencies do. Could something like that be possible? Is there any redressal system in place for that? Infact can I approach any Omani authority for the redressal of this whole issue?

Also, would you be aware of the Transit Visa?

Hi Himanshu.Saini,

You can personally go to your nearest Oman Embassy and try to consult with some official dealing with Visas.

Find out the causes for the rejection of your application and the possibilities of getting a visit visa issued - if possible.

Remotely, there is absolutely nothing you can do.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Oman

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Oman

Moving to Oman

Find tips from professionals about moving to Oman

International Wealth Management in Oman

Get advice from well-reputed and experienced international wealth managers regarding your financial affairs in Oman

Travel insurance in Oman

Enjoy stress-free travel to Oman

Flights to Oman

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Oman