Muscat: Expats who have been living in Oman for more than 20 years can become Omani citizens if they fulfil the requirements of the Citizenship Law of Oman, according to a legal expert.

All they need to do is comply with the procedure and submit the set of documents required, however, the decision remains with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In a series of articles about the country’s rules and regulations, entitled “Know Oman”, experts guide readers on their rights and responsibilities while working and living in the Sultanate.

Speaking exclusively to Times of Oman, a representative of Al Faqih & Co., one of the leading law firms in Oman, explained the law regarding the acquisition of Omani citizenship and the documents needed.

Yasin Chowdhury, Head of the Corporate Advisory at Al Faqih & Co., said that any single foreigner who has been living in Oman for a period of 20 consecutive years, or for 15 years if married to an Omani citizen, is eligible to apply for Omani citizenship.

“Both male and female foreigners who are married to Omani citizens are eligible to apply for the citizenship provided the couple obtains the prior permission of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for their marriage. The rule also applies to a female foreigner whose Omani husband has died or has divorced her. Moreover, an Omani woman who is married to a foreigner can apply for the citizenship of any child of such marriage.

“Applications for citizenship should be made using the forms which can be obtained from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and submitted with the other documents required. These comprise : a copy of the passport including a valid residence visa and details of the first entry to Oman if any; a copy of the ID card or the like; a copy of a valid resident card; a copy of the marriage contract if applicable and copies of the passports of the spouse and children along with their birth certificate as appropriate.

“Also, a copy of the certificate issued by the Ministry in the event of marriage to an Omani; a copy of the police clearance certificate; a copy of valid health certificate to prove his freedom from infectious diseases; a copy of salary certificate; a copy of the certificate from the competent authority authorizing him to renounce nationality; a written declaration to relinquish his nationality; a written declaration specifying the names of his minor children, with all their documents attached, and updating these data, whenever necessary,” Chowdhury said.

He continued : “ Omani citizenship may be acquired by expats living in Oman after fulfilling the above conditions as required under the Citizenship Law of the Sultanate. The matter is dealt with in the Citizenship Law promulgated in Oman by Royal Degree No. 38 of 2014 and the recent Ministerial Decision from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministerial Decision No. 92 of 2019).”

Chowdhury said that expats who are eligible can apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Oman for the acquisition of Omani nationality. “The Ministry, in accordance with the applicable rules and procedures, will review and decide on such application as the final decision lies with the Ministry.”

The legal expert continued saying that: “According to the Ministry, the application fee for single expats who have been living for 20 years and more is OMR600, whereas the spouses or previous spouses of Omani citizens will need to pay OMR300.”

He added that the Citizenship Law and the Ministerial Decision contains a complete list of the documents that applicants are required to submit with their applications for citizenship.

“After citizenship is granted, the foreigner will be obliged to swear before the President of the Court of First Instance and to respect the statutes, laws, customs and traditions of Oman and to be a good citizen. Moreover, the law obliges such a person not to reside outside of Oman for more than six consecutive months during the 10 years following his obtaining Omani nationality except under a permit from the Ministry or for reasons accepted by the Ministry,” Chowdhury said.

Al Faqih & Co. () is a premier commercial law firm based in Muscat consisting of barristers, consultants, and advocates with vast experience in corporate and commercial practice including labour and employment law in Oman.

The objectives of the firm are to provide a full spectrum of corporate and commercial legal services to a variety of clientele in an efficient, effective and timely manner. It has specialization in litigation & arbitration, banking & finance, international trade, shipping & aviation, private equity, and foreign investment laws.

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