Passports and Paperclips

As a European with visa free access across 28 countries I used to find it strange to have to stamp out of one country and into another when visiting Oman from the UAE; I have done it so often now it has become second nature and my passport is full of Oman visa stamps (and four UAE residency visas) to name just a few.

I do not envy the border personnel their job; stuck in an office all day, processing visas for travelers on their way to family get-togethers, holidays or, and here’s the one which would make me sickeningly jealous if I were them, offroad adventures.  I like to think I am making things a bit easier for them by deploying a couple of paperclips in my passport.


UAE residency visa – I have more than one in my passport so I leave a paperclip permanently attached to the current one.  With this spring’s changes in tourist visas for Oman, it is especially important to be easily identifiable as a UAE resident, so one can avail themselves of the 5 OMR GCC Foreign Resident’s Visa.

After exiting the UAE, paperclip the page with the UAE exit stamp on it – the Omani border personnel cannot stamp you into their country without you first having stamped out of the UAE.

After border procedures at Oman, switch the paperclip to your new Oman visit visa as there are at least three possible situations when you may need to produce this.

  • At a police/army roadside check, if requested.
  • When checking in to a hotel.
  • Returning to the UAE.

When you exit Oman, if the exit stamp is not adjacent to the Oman visa it was cancelling, move the paperclip – UAE border personnel will want to see the Oman exit stamp before processing your entry back into the UAE.

After returning to the UAE, put that second paperclip away…..til the next time!

Note – paper-clipping the pages can bring you benefits too.  Very, very occasionally a stamp is missed, or unreadable, and by checking the visa at time of stamping you will notice if there is a problem; this should be easy to fix if you are still at the border.  Always check that you have had the correct visa stamped in your passport, even if you aren’t using paperclips!


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