Muscat: To simplify visa procedures and enhance security, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) is set to launch the electronic visa and passport system before the end of this year.
"The objective is to enhance the security measures in the Sultanate. The introduction of e-visa will help us collect and store data as it will help us curb crimes committed by expatriates," informed a senior official at the ROP.
Adding that it is also aimed at keeping pace with advanced technology, he said, "The new system will enable payment of visa fees through electronic payment gates."
The official stated said that as of now there are no proposal to increase the visa fee.
Electronic visa page
Talking about the procedures, the official explained, "After the payment of fees through the electronic visa page of the ROP's website and attaching the required documents, the applicant will receive an SMS or a message on his or her cellphone number or registered email." Visa fees and service fees will not be refundable and applicants will have to agree to the terms and conditions at the time of applying for the visa, the official added.
Meanwhile, e-passports will be embedded with a chip which will store the passport-holder's personal information, photo, and digital security features such as an identity card.
The e-passport initiative will be implemented by an international company and the document cannot be falsified.
The new card will have twice the capacity of the old one and will also be used to store financial transactions and medical reports.
It may be recalled that in April 2014, ROP had announced that it would launch electronic passport and electronic visa app, and some other mobile apps to make it easier for people to pay traffic fines.
The ROP also plans to establish a direct data link with the Ministry of Manpower's Public Prosecution and Information Technology Authority. The apps will enable citizens and residents to avail themselves of electronic policing services in a secure way.
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