Monday, March 30, 2015

MARRYING AN OMANI MAN: Getting Your Children Omani Passports

Whether or not you have recieved permission, any Omani male citizen [as long as you have a valid aqed nikah (Islamic marriage contract)] has lawful right to apply for citizenship, and Omani passports for his children. ***This does not apply to Omani women who are married to non-Omanis even though that is disgraceful for Oman***.

1.) The aqed nikah must be a government issue. If you did not recieve permission before you married (Islamic marriage) then the woman must sue her Omani husband in local court for not having gained permission before he married her, to have the judge issue a legal (to Oman) copy of the aqed nikah. A court date must be applied for at the local wilayat court. Both couples work or national IDs, passports, and aqed nikah documents are required. Photocopy everything and provide originals, even if it is not required. Dress traditionally and respectfully to attend court (abaya and very modest scarf covering all hair and chest is best), and talk minimally and quietly while waiting your turn in court etc... Most judges are having a horrible day since they are dealing with property disputes and divorces all day so be the happy light---the modest love story of their day---keeping in mind they may be skeptical about your success (divorce and custody battles all day). For the court date, both husband and wife must attend when called upon. An Arabic translator (who usually cannot properly translate since a husband is not allowed to speak for his wife) will be provided (most judges can speak English but for legal purposes all is done in Arabic). The judge will accept (usually). Then the aqed will be issued from the certification office at the court. Read everything over. Typos are normal and will make the process harder. Make sure the date of your marriage is correct, nationality, etc.... 

If you married outside of Oman but had permission the same process must be followed, although the wife does not have to sue her husband, merely both attend the local willayat court certification office together with all required documents, and  this case does not require scheduling a court date.***

Following this, if you have not recieved permission your case will then be transferred then to the interior ministry (follow this) and then to the police (ROP) and finally the higher court (who will issue any punishment to the man who married without permission---loss of government job, fine etc.).

2.) For those with permission, simply go with the court aqed nikah, the hospital registration paper for the birth of your child, both mother and father's passports, and ID cards (photocopies and original) + 4 passport photos to the ROP station in Seeb where all visas are issued, for the birth cerificate. This takes a week or less usually.

For those without permission, after the court process is finished, the case will again go to the interior ministry who must issue a letter for the ROP to issue a birth certificate (they will probably require all previous documentation and the hospital birth attestation letter). If they insist at the Interior Ministry this is not the right process, ignore them and keep at it. That's something meant to discourage you;) or they don't know their own work. Once the letter is issued: Aqed nikah, hospital letter, Interior Ministry letter, original passports and government ID +photocopies for both parents, and four passport photos of your child are required. Apply with these to the ROP for a birth certificate.

3.) For those with permission, once the birth certificate is ready and national ID card etc., the same office that issued the birth certificate can make the passport for your child. Along with birth certificate, aqed nikah, permission documentation, both passports and photocopies of passports and both government ID cards, you will need 4 passport photos of your child.

Without permission, once you have the birth certificate you need to go back to the interior ministry to ask them to write a letter allowing the ROP to make your child a passport. This, you will probably need to follow up personally or it will never get done. Eventually they will issue a letter for you to take to the ROP to allow for a passport for your child. You need this letter, the birth certificate, original passports and photocopies, original ID cards and photocopies of, the government issued aqed nikah, and 4 passport photos for your child. From here on in, the follow up and hassle is done. Passport usually takes a week.

For those without permission, this process must always be repeated  for every additional child from step 2 onwards, until the wife (if ever) is issued an Omani passport, kind of as a punishment for not getting permission for marriage---paperwork from hell.

Hope that helps some people. For those with permission this process takes about a month if you make timely visits to the police station etc, for those without it can take a year for the first child, and 4 months for all others.

All my best to you all;). Have fun with the bureaucracy.


Michelle said...

I am going through this situation right now. We didn't receive permission and had to go through court. The court case was closed over 2 months ago and we are still waiting for the judge to sign the paper. My daughter is 6 months old now. Seriously, my patience is running thin. Pray that Allah will grant me patience and that I will be able to process all of our papers soon!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling but you're fortunate. Until recently children born to couples without permission couldn't get a passport at ALL. people waited decades to get even a birth certificate. I guess that's the price you pay for breaking the law.