28 May 2012| Last updated on 11 December 2017
To work in Oman you have to be sponsored by an Omani company before you enter the country (i.e. you have to have a job). It is illegal to work on a tourist visa although some expats take a short-term contract and hope their employer will arrange a labour card for them.
The movement of foreigners is tightly controlled, and issuing of visas and other permits is subject to strict bureaucratic procedures. Those whose applications are denied have little chance of appealing their status. Fortunately, the average expatriate doesn’t need to deal with much of the bureaucracy as most companies and institutions employ ‘fixers,´ whose job is to wade through the government´s red tape to obtain the necessary visas for foreign workers and their families.
Even with a fixer, you will be required to assemble a number of documents in order to apply for entry into the country. The required documents include:
- a passport valid for at least six months (it’s useful to have at least three or four photocopies)
- at least six passport-size photographs
- a marriage certificate (if applicable)
- birth certificates for all family members
- a medical certificate in the case of workers.
Foreigners working in Oman must have a certificate to show that they’re in good general health and free from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. In some cases, you may be able to arrange for a test after you arrive in Oman. Your sponsor will advise you of what is required.
Note that you will be disqualified from entry if you have any connection to Israel: Israeli passport, entry stamp, visa, and so on.
While you’re in Oman, you’re required to carry identification documents (either your passport or a national identitity card), and you must have your entry and residence visas available at all times. Labour officials often carry out spot checks on businesses in search of workers employed illegally and to inspect foreign employees´ passports.
If you are working, your No Objection Certificate gets you a two-year, multiple-entry visa at immigration. These are not valid for exit via land borders. Road passes are necessary if you are driving. There is one restriction on women's driving: they are not allowed to drive across the border to the United Arab Emirates, but they are welcome to fly.
Women working in Oman