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Oman
Official Name:

Sultanate of Oman

Last Updated: May 4, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Muscat

Jamiat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street,
Al Khuwair Area (Shatti Al-Qurum), Muscat
Oman

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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6 months

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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1 page per entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Yes

VACCINATIONS:

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Yellow fever (when coming from an area with yellow fever outbreaks)

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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Declare amounts over 20,000 USD 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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Declare amounts over 20,000 USD

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U.S. Embassy Muscat

Jamiat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street,
Al Khuwair Area (Shatti Al-Qurum), Muscat
Oman

Telephone: +(968) 2464-3400

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(968) 2464-3400

Fax: +(968) 2464-3535

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Oman for information on U.S.- Oman relations. 

See the government of Oman’s website for visa information.

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport valid for at least six months
  • Visa

Penalties for expired passports or visas include fines and/or imprisonment.

Tourist Visas: 

  • Apply for tourist visas at Omani embassies and consulates or upon arrival at airports or land crossings.  Tourist visas are not issued at Mazoonah and Sarfait (Oman-Yemen land borders).
  • Tourist visas are limited to 30 days, currently 20 OMR. Current schedule of fees available at the Royal Oman Police website.
  • Have proof of adequate funds and an onward/return ticket.

Avoid Travel to Yemen: We strongly advise U.S. citizens against travel to Yemen.  Crossing the Yemen-Oman border can be dangerous, and U.S. citizens who do so are routinely detained by Omani authorities.  See our Yemen Crisis webpage for further information.

Oman does not recognize dual nationality. Omani authorities may confiscate your U.S. passport if you have Oman/U.S. dual nationality.  Should this happen, contact the U.S. Embassy. This does not constitute loss of U.S. citizenship.

Children of Omani fathers automatically acquire Omani citizenship at birth and must enter and exit Oman on their Omani passports.

Omani/U.S. dual nationals are subject to all Omani laws, including those placing special obligations on citizens of Oman.

Expect considerable delays if your U.S. passport is lost or stolen. Before receiving a replacement passport, Omani law requires that you:

  • report the loss/ theft to the Royal Oman Police
  • place an advertisement in local papers about the lost/stolen passport

For further details, see the Royal Oman Police website.

Yellow fever vaccinations are required if you are coming from a country with yellow fever outbreaks.

HIV/AIDS entry restrictions apply to visitors and foreign residents.  HIV/AIDS testing is required upon arrival for people on work or immigrant visas.  Oman does not accept U.S. HIV/AIDS testing.  Verify this information with the government of Oman before traveling.

Customs Regulations:

  • Pornographic materials and firearms are prohibited.
  • Muslim travelers are forbidden to bring in alcohol.
  • Non-Muslim travelers can bring in two bottles of alcohol bought at a duty-free shop.

Find further information on dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction,  and customs regulations on our websites.

Potential for Terrorist Activity:  To date, there have been no terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens in Oman.  Regionally, terrorists continue to target U.S. and Western interests in the Middle East and North Africa. Please review the Worldwide Caution before traveling.

Safety Precautions:

  • Avoid public demonstrations and large gatherings.
  • Monitor local media broadcasts and consular messages.
  • Vary travel routes and times when possible.
  • Report security concerns to Omani police and the U.S. Embassy.

MARAD Report: According to the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), U.S. flag vessels in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb regions face an elevated risk of attacks by violent extremists.

U.S. flag vessels should report suspicious activity to:

  • COMUSNAVCENT battle watch captain at 011-973-1785-3879
  • U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 (toll-free), 202-267-2675, or 202-267-4477 (TDD).

See the complete advisory at the MARAD website.

Crime: There is minimal street crime in Oman, and violent crime is rare.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy.  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

  • Report crimes to the local police at 9999.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy at +968 2464-3400.
  • Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
  • See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

For further information:

Modern medical facilities and Western-style pharmacies are available. Local medical treatment varies from quite good to inadequate, depending on location.

Hospital emergency treatment is available.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not cover costs overseas.  

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medications:  Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the government of Oman to ensure the medication is legal.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Omani authorities typically do not permit foreigners accused of crimes to leave the country while cases are open.

See our webpage for further information.

Carry your passport at all times, or you could be detained.

It is illegal to photograph certain buildings.

Alcohol and Drugs: You may be arrested for possession of alcohol or driving under the influence. Drinking is permitted in hotels, bars, homes, and some restaurants.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs include lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

Motor Vehicle Violations:  Traffic laws are strictly enforced and carry heavy penalties, such as a $1200 fine and/or one year in jail for running a red light. Remote traffic cameras are extensively used to monitor speeding and stop light infractions.

Immigration officials have ready access to information on traffic offenses, and violators cannot depart Oman unless all fines have been paid in full.

Personal Defamation charges:

  • Using vulgar language or hand gestures can lead to personal defamation charges. 
  • An accusation alone, regardless of who files it, can initiate a legal process.
  • U.S. citizens can usually resolve these cases with a formal apology and payment of damages to the aggrieved party.

Cultural Heritage Items:  To avoid prosecution, check first with Omani authorities before taking “cultural heritage items” such as archaeological artifacts, meteorites, or stones. 

Notary Services: All foreign public documents (Birth, Marriage, Death, Divorce, academic records, etc.), such as for employment qualification or residency visas, need to be apostilled for use in Oman,. The U.S. Embassy in Oman cannot apostille any documents issued in the U.S.  See our website for designated authorities in the U.S. that can issue an apostille.

Employment in Oman: Although a common practice, it is illegal for Omani employers to retain your passport. Such retention could grant undue leverage to your employer in case of a dispute. U.S. passports are the property of the U.S. government.

We cannot intervene in labor disputes. At the beginning of any employment, obtain a contract that clearly states the terms of employment. Try to resolve disputes privately with your employer. If this fails, consult our list of lawyers.

Dress Code: Be sensitive to Islamic culture and do not wear sleeveless shirts, halter-tops, or shorts. Only wear athletic clothing in public when engaged in sports activities.

Currency: U.S. bills printed before 2006 are often not accepted. Local currency is easily available from ATMs or currency exchange counters.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual conduct is illegal and subject to a jail term of six months to three years. See our LGBTI Travel page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Public transportation is generally inaccessible. Handicapped parking spaces are scarce.

Most medical facilities and public buildings in cities have wheelchair ramps and elevators. Outside of urban areas, access is greatly reduced.

Omanis will generally try to accommodate reasonable requests for assistance.

Women Travelers: Women travelers are more likely to be affected by religious and cultural beliefs of the foreign countries they visit and may face greater obstacles, especially when travelling or living overseas alone. See our travel tips for Women Travelers

Road Conditions: Road conditions in cities and along major highways are good. Road conditions in rural areas range from good to poor. During rare instances of rain, roads are prone to flash flooding.

Travel between cities can be dangerous due to poor lighting, wandering livestock, and speeding drivers.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is generally safe, although vehicles may swerve to pick up passengers without warning.

Traffic Violations:

The following traffic violations may result in jail sentences, fines, and/or deportation:

  • driving without a license
  • running a red light
  • driving under the influence of alcohol
  • failure to wear a seat belt
  • talking on cell phones while driving (hands-free technology is allowed)
  • excessive speeding or overtaking another vehicle
  • failure to maintain a clean car

When involved in a traffic violation, cooperate with police officers and do not attempt to negotiate payment.

If you are involved in traffic accident that involves injuries, death, or material damage to vehicles, do not move your vehicle until the police give you permission. Moving your car may be interpreted as an admission of guilt.  For minor traffic accidents with no damage or injuries, you may move your vehicle to the side of the road.

For further information on minor traffic accidents, see that section on the Royal Oman Police website.

Traffic Guidelines:

  • Traffic circles are common. The driver already in the circle always has priority.
  • Drivers flashing high beams are signaling that they want to pass.
  • Do not turn right on a red traffic signal.

Driving License Requirements:

  • Short-term visitors with a U.S. driver’s license may drive rental vehicles, but not privately registered cars.
  • Residents must have an Omani driver's license.
  • To obtain an Omani license, you must take a vision test and either have a U.S. license (with proof of being licensed for at least two years) or take a driving test.

Car Insurance:

  • Insure rental cars against death, injury, and loss or damage.
  • Residents may insure their vehicles outside the Sultanate; however, third party liability insurance must be purchased locally.

Emergency Services: Ambulance service is generally adequate, with response times that vary. When possible, drive to the nearest hospital or clinic rather than waiting for an ambulance.

For all traffic-related emergencies, call the Royal Oman Police at 9999.  Have an Arabic speaker call when giving directions to a location, since English-speaking operators are not always available.

See our Road Safety page  or the Royal Oman Police website for further information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Oman, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. See the FAA’s safety assessment page for further information.

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