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Trump travel ban hits expatriates in Oman

Iraqi national Murtada Hussain says he will not be able to attend his son’s university graduation next week

Gulf News

Muscat: The US travel ban has hit many expatriate residents in Oman following the executive order banning entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.

Mohammad Ahmad, a Sudanese resident of Oman was supposed to meet his family in the US next month but his plans were quickly dashed after the US embassy stopped issuing visit visas following the executive order.

Ahmad has been working in Oman for the past 10 years and used to visit his Ohio-based family, who are permanent residents, every year without any obstacles.

“I hope the ban will be lifted, I would like to spend the holidays with them,” he said.

Murtada Hussain, an Iraqi national, said that he was shocked with the executive order, describing it as “racist”.

Now he is unable to attend his son’s university graduation next week.

“My wife and I have been waiting for this moment, but now everything has fallen apart,” he told Gulf News.

The US embassy in Muscat has issued a standard advisory that any citizen of the seven banned countries will not be given a visa appointment.

“If you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time as you will not be able to proceed with your visa interview,” the statement reads.

The statement added that travel for official governmental purposes, related to official business at or on behalf of designated international organisations, on behalf of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or by certain officials is not subject to suspension.

Some airlines have also been rerouting and refunding passengers of those countries who can no longer fly to the US.

Qatar Airways, Emirates Airways and Turkish Airways have advised passengers from banned countries that they need to have either a permanent resident card (Green card) or diplomatic visa to travel.

The 90-day travel ban applies to citizens of Iraq, Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

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