Oman to increase expat work visa fees by 50%

New fees are also being brought in for domestic workers, camel herders and farm workers

Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has announced work visa fees for expats will increase by 50 per cent.

Times of Oman cited an official as saying the change would become law when it is published in the official Gazette.

The ministry also confirmed the change on Twitter, saying visa fees for private sector workers would rise from OMR201 ($522) to OMR301 ($782).

New fees are also being brought in for domestic workers, camel herders and farm workers.

Visas for domestic workers will be OMR141 ($366) each for the first three under one employer, rising to OMR241 ($625) for a fourth.

Renewing all four visas will then cost OMR241.

Similarly job visas for three expat farmers or camel herders under the same employer will be OMR201 for the first three, rising to OMR301 for the fourth.

Renewing all four visas will again cost OMR301.

The official told the publication a fee of OMR5 would also be charged to change a worker’s status or to switch their sponsor.

Ahmed Hamoud Al Shabibi, managing director of construction firm Al Shabibi Global LLC said the fees would impact his business.

“Already we are struggling due to the economic conditions. We will be in trouble,” he told Time of Oman.

Workers also indicated concerns that the fee increases would be taken directly from their salaries.

The new fees come as the country seeks to tackle a sizeable budget deficit, totalling $9.1bn in the first half of the year.

Read: Oman budget deficit widens in H1 as low oil prices hit revenues

Oman’s expatriate workforce stands at 1.82 million according to the latest government data.