Sunday, 11 July 2010

from Oman's longest running tourist: how to renew your tourist visa

If you are a tourist that has over-stayed your original visa (which OPNO did, like, a hundred times to the point that Sumaiya Al Busaidi at the renewal office knows her by name and passport number) you can head down to Seeb to renew it. You can even do so by taxi. I have saved the directions in Arabic on my mobile:

الاحو ال المدنية. الجو أزات. السيب. صقابل المطار.

Which has always worked for me (thank you A, whose text I saved because it looked similar to K's [who is infamously lazy] but was longer). I've never had a taxi that didn't understand it. It could say, this girl is an idiot, I am tired of helping her renew her visa, so your turn, and go here, for all I know (I can read Arabic letters but what the word vocabulary is limited). Give me another 40 extension and we'll see.

There, at the renewal headquarters, if you are a woman or a man, go the first building after the gate and get your paperwork. There is a charge for this between 2-6 rials but they stopped charging me a long time ago so I don't know what it is, I am sorry. Once you have your paperwork, for the men, head to the buidling directly opposite.

Women, carry on to the very back building along that winding sidewalk. There is a side door entrance for women, and this is a smallish room with some seats (the men's side doesn't have many seats) and two small wicket windows for ya'll to line up at. Do not be super nice. Head to the front. Women budge. There you pay six rials by credit card. And voila, finis, you have another 29 days.

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