Clear traffic fines before visa renewal, says Royal Oman Police

Oman Tuesday 01/March/2016 21:36 PM
By: Times News Service
Clear traffic fines before visa renewal, says Royal Oman Police

Muscat: Expatriates will have to settle all the fines for traffic violations before the renewal of their visas, a senior official from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said.
From June 1, 2015 it has been made mandatory for all expatriates to clear any pending traffic fines before leaving the country. “Now, we have made it clear that expats need to clear all their traffic fines to get any type of services from the Immigration Department of the Royal Oman Police,” the ROP official said.
Even Public Relations Officers (PROs) of companies said the rule has already been implemented and that the ROP has started rejecting applications where traffic fines were found unpaid.
“The immigration department refused to stamp a residency visa for two years as there was some unpaid fines from an expat in our company,” said Faisal Al Wahabi, a PRO working at a private firm.
The Directorate General of Passport and Residence provides a range of services, including all work related to passports, identity cards, visas, residence permits and road permits.
It also provides services at airports, sea ports and border posts, as well as from its main office at the ROP Force Headquarters and in the regional sections.
“Basically, expats have to get their traffic fines cleared if they need any of these services,” Al Wahabi added.
But not many are happy with the rule change. Some said it would only inconvenience the expats, who have to pay fines often.
“Earlier, we used to clear fines when we used to go for the registration of cars. But now we have to clear the fines every time we exit the country or when we need any type of services from the Directorate General of Passport and Residence,” said Satish, an
Indian expat.
Others questioned the logic behind this new rule. “I agree that offenders need to pay their fines, but this rule would have been fine for expats cancelling their visas and not going for renewal,” another expat said.
Some feel that the rule may have been amended following several defaults on payments. “I am sure this was introduced because some expats used to pay their fines once a year. In order to make this (practice) more regularised, the ROP may have come up this regulation,” the PRO said.
Some felt that the ROP’s move might lead to motorists being more responsible now.
“Motorists will now regularly check traffic fines against their names to save last-minute hassles and even driving safely on the road,” they added.