Oman announces new investor visas
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotions (MOCIIP) has just launched its anticipated programme for allowing long term residency to certain types of investor.
The new programme is aimed at individuals who invest in either property or companies and so should attract both investors and people looking to retire in Oman. Qualifying individuals will be granted long term residence rights in Oman.
Applications will be accepted from 3 October 2021.
The published requirements for obtaining residency for up to 10 years (a category 1 application) are as follows:
- An investment of at least OMR 500,000 in a limited liability company, closed joint-stock company or government bonds
- Establishing a company that employs at least 50 Omanis (no level of capital investment is currently mandated)
- Purchase property or properties with a value of at least OMR 500,000
Applicants can also seek a shorter, 5 year residence right (category 2). The requirements for this are:
- An investment of at least OMR 250,000 in a limited liability company, closed joint-stock company or government bonds
- Purchase property or properties with a value of at least 250,000 rials
- An individual who seeks to retire to Oman, after having worked in Oman for a period to be specified, may do so provided that an income of at least OMR 4,000 can be demonstrated, along with a permanent place of residence.
These new provisions provide more routes to obtain long term residency in Oman and will so be welcomed by the expatriate community. In particular for those seeking to retire, where there is now not the requirement to invest significant capital into property in Oman, provided sufficient income can be proved.
It is also not clear how this will affect the existing long term residency which is given to purchasers of property in Oman's ITCs. Currently, purchasing a property in one of Oman's ITCs gives lifetime residency and prices for these properties start well below in investment levels required by this new announcement.
Compared to other regional jurisdictions (or indeed the various passport for investment schemes which are available around the world), obtaining long term residency in Oman remains difficult and costly, and it will interesting to see how popular this programme will be, given that the required investment amounts are still material.