Oman expat visa ban extended to more professions

Tue, 2018-11-27 09:20

DUBAI: Oman’s government have announced plans to extend the
ban on issuing visas to expats wanting to work in the country,
national daily Times of Oman reported.

There has been a ban on issuing employment visas in 87
professions since January 2018, which was initially in place for
six months, but was later extended.

Now Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has extended the ban to
include purchase and sales representatives and workers in the
construction, cleaning, and workshop sectors from Dec. 1, 2018.

The existing ban, which was extended in July, already covers a
number of industries including media, engineering, accounting and
finance, IT, insurance, technicians, administration and HR.

Ministry decision number 487/2018, states: “Permits for
non-Omani manpower will cease to be released for the next six
months for the following professions: sales
representative/promoter, purchase representative. permits for the
replacement of existing employees will continue to be released.

“This law will apply to all private establishments, replacing
the earlier decision. Finally, this law will apply starting from
November 30.”

In June reports showed Oman’s expat population had dropped 2
percent in the first five months of the ban – that’s 43,000
fewer expats than the same time for the previous year.

The aim of the visa ban is to help reduce unemployment among
Omanis, but some business people fear it might discourage start-ups
in these fields of work.

Saif Al Badi, head of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and
Industry’s Al Dhairah Governorate headquarters told the Times of
Oman: “We were hoping the visa ban for these jobs would be halted
or opened for a temporary period but the decision is exactly the
opposite and that will not attract entrepreneurs to start
businesses in these sectors,”

The Omanization drive is part of a government’s push to
recruit more of its own citizens, a similar push is underway across
the GCC where countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been
trying to increase the number of locals in employment.

Balram Manji, an HR consultant in Oman, said the new rules were
in keeping with the growing trend around the globe.

“It is very similar to what the US and many European nations
are doing in terms of prioritizing their own people.

“In America, before the Bureau of Immigration proceeds with
any visa issuance, they always ask the company in question if there
is an American who will do the job.”

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Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Oman expat visa ban extended to more professions