Home to superb diving sites, intriguing archaeological ruins, historic forts and souks (markets) and some of the best hiking trails in the region, Oman promises an unforgettable travel experience. Visas to visit this complex and history-rich land are easy to obtain, but there are red tape to navigate compared to its Gulf neighbors.

Many people visit Oman after spending a few days in Dubai in the neighboring United Arab Emirates, but you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the Oman visa process. Whether you plan to relax on the beach, explore Muscat’s history, or hike the Hajar Mountains, here’s a guide to the latest visa requirements for this fascinating desert sultanate.

Introducing Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Peninsula

Who needs a visa to visit Oman?

Citizens of 103 countries – including the US, Canada, UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most EU and EEA countries – can visit Oman without visa, as long as the stay does not exceed 14 days. Check the Oman Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for a full list of countries approved for visa-free travel.

Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, can travel to Oman without a visa. If you are unsure of the rules relating to your nationality, check the website of the Royal Oman Police, the body responsible for overseeing Oman’s immigration system.

All visa-exempt visitors must present proof of confirmed hotel reservations for the entire duration of their stay, as well as health insurance and a return ticket from Oman during the visa-free period. Your passport must also be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in Oman.

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Additional requirements for visa-free travel

Citizens of certain countries on the approved list, such as Mexico, India and Jordan, can only travel to Oman without a visa if they hold a valid Schengen visa or a valid foreign visa. United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom or Japan (or are legally resident in one of these countries). Check the Royal Oman Police website for more information.

How to stay in Oman for more than 14 days

Apart from visitors from GCC countries, all travelers need a tourist visa to enter Oman if they intend to stay in the country for more than 14 days. Applications for all types of tourist visas must be made online at the official Oman e-visa website before arriving in Oman.

Visitors to Oman can explore stunning desert and coastal landscapes © Philippe Royer / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Visas for GCC Resident Tourists

Visitors who reside in the GCC but have a different nationality can apply for a tourist resident visa as long as they are employed in a profession on Oman’s approved list (or accompanied by someone exercising one of these occupations). These visas cost 5 GOLD (13 USD) and allow stays in Oman for up to 28 days.

Applications must be made through the official Oman e-visa website, and your GCC residency visa must be valid for at least six months after entry into Oman.

Visa for tourists who are not GCC residents

Tourists who do not reside in a GCC country and wish to visit Oman for more than 14 days will need to apply online for a non-sponsored visit visa. There are different types of unsponsored visit visas, valid for tourism, business travel or transit through the country, and each has its own rules and conditions.

It is best to check the visa class you are eligible for and the visa requirements through the visa eligibility tool on the official website of the Royal Oman Police.

Visas for stays of 30 days in Oman

Citizens of 72 countries – including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and many European countries – can apply for a 26B tourist visa, a single-entry visa that allows you to stay in Oman for 30 days. It costs 20 GOLD (52 USD) and applications should be made on the official website where a full list of eligible nationalities is available.

The same nationalities can also apply for the 36B tourist visit visa, a long-term multiple-entry visa valid for one year and allowing a maximum stay of 30 days in Oman for each visit. It costs 50 GOLD (130 USD).

Men haggling over pomegranates in the souk of Nizwa, Oman
The shopping experience at Nizwa souk hasn’t changed much in centuries © Emily_M_Wilson / Getty Images

Other Classes of Tourist Visit Visas

Citizens of other countries who have a valid visa for the Schengen area or a valid visa for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or Japan may be eligible to apply for a tourist visa 26M single-entry for OR20 (52 USD), or a 36 million tourist visa with multiple entries for 50 OR (130 USD). The list of approved countries includes India, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Maldives, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

How to visit Oman from Dubai

Travelers who meet the Oman visa waiver requirements and have a valid Dubai tourist visa can apply for a joint Dubai/Oman visa type 21 (also known as joint Dubai/Oman visa). This free single entry visa allows a stay of up to 21 days in Oman and is not renewable. It is only valid if you are entering Oman directly from Dubai (not from any other emirate in the UAE).

You can apply for this visa at the Consulate General of the Sultanate of Oman in Dubai. To qualify for this class of visa, your Dubai tourist visa must have at least 21 days of validity remaining on the date you enter Oman.

Other visa options for Oman

Five- and 10-year multiple-entry visas are available for U.S. diplomatic passport holders and U.S. citizens traveling to Oman to attend a training course or as a member of an international organization registered in Oman, such as the World Health Organization. To apply, you will need to submit additional documents detailing the purpose of your visit.

Man diving off tour boat cruise on Musandam coast in Oman
Boat cruises along the Omani coast offer an idyllic introduction to Gulf waters © Andrew Montgomery / Lonely Planet

Apply for a visa for Oman

When applying for an Omani visa through the official e-visa portal, ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date you plan to enter Oman. You will need to submit a photo, copy of your passport, hotel reservation and confirmed air tickets confirming your entry and departure dates from Oman.

Visa processing times can vary depending on the type of visa – expect the process to take 24 hours to a few days. To make sure your visa is cleared before you check in for your flight, apply online at least four days before you travel.

Even if you intend to drive to Oman from Dubai and enter through a land border, it is wise to apply online for the correct type of visa before travelling. Paper application forms allowing you to apply for an Omani visa on arrival may be available at the border, but this system is being phased out and waiting times can reach several hours.

Extended stays and visa extensions for Oman

If you overstay your visa, a fine of 10 OR (26 USD) applies for each day overstayed on your visa, and you may have difficulty entering Oman in the future. Single-entry tourist visas can be extended for another 30 days, multiple-entry tourist visas cannot be extended – you can apply for a visa extension on the official e-visa portal.