Expatriate residents of the Sultanate who have stayed away from Oman for more than 180 days and now want to return, need to produce a letter from the sponsor supporting his residency data either through Sanad Center or visa website. It has to be submitted along with the MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) approval, according to the Directorate General of Passports and Residence.
Any expatriate who has been away from Oman for more than six months does not need a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Royal Oman Police if he wants to return.
“For foreigners residing abroad for more than 180 days and want to come back, the employer must extract the worker’s residency data via the electronic visa website or Sanad offices, using the employer’s electronic authentication system,” the DG of Passports and Residence told the Observer.
After this, the employer must apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain approval for the staff to enter the Sultanate.
This would lay to rest the rumours that a letter from the ROP is also necessary.
However, the Sanad center would need a copy of the ID card of the sponsor or the authorised person, to endorse his (the sponsor’s) consent for the return of his staff.
“This is mandatory because the arrival of the person who lived for more than 180 days outside the country should be with the knowledge of the sponsor or authorised person and this has already been implemented at the airports,” he added.
The ROP source further said that those who got their visa over during the COVID-19 lockdown period must renew the residency and then obtain approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to return in case he is allowed to do so. Also, return procedures require him to quarantine for two weeks.
The official further said that an employer no longer needs to apply for an exception certificate from the system of 180 days which is issued by the General Directorate of Passports and Residency while applying the foreigner’s return to the Sultanate. Earlier, it was mandatory to secure entry permission.