Monday, November 23, 2009

Citizenship: Is it possible to become a national of Oman?


Citizenship: Is it possible to become a national of Oman?

While foreigners can, in theory, become Omani citizens, it is nearly impossible if they do not have 100% Omani ancestry.

The only foreigners known to obtain Omani citizenship on a relatively consistent basis are the children of nationals who emigrated before 1970. These people may return to Oman and apply for citizenship through the Ministry of the Interior, but they are by no means guaranteed success. For this reason, the government´s citizenship policy is extremely controversial. In many cases, the government will grant only a half a returning family citizenship. In others, it will not even grant some members of these families residence or work permits.

As a result, some Omanis accuse the government of retroactively punishing families who left during the country´s difficult reform period.

If you have no Omani heritage, your only chance at citizenship will be through marriage to an Omani national, and even then your application will probably be denied.

In exceptional cases, Oman´s ruler has the power to grant citizenship to a foreigner who has made great contributions to the state over a period of many years, but these instances are rare.

It is more common for generous employers to reward loyal workers by providing them with work and residence permits of indefinite duration. Even still, there is a good chance this support will end when those workers retire.

The government does not even grant citizenship to foreign children born in Oman, unless one parent happens to be an Omani citizen. Even still, children of mixed families may have different rights than either of their parents - this varies from case to case. Therefore, if you have a child in Oman you will want to make sure to carefully review his status with the Ministry of the Interior.

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