Oman bans work visas for expats in certain sectors

The ban is applicable on private sector entities in the construction and cleaning work sectors



Oman’s ministry of manpower has announced a temporary moratorium on visa issuance to private sector establishments in the construction and cleaning work sectors, Times of Oman reported.

The ban is for a period of six months.

However, the ban does not apply to establishments employing 100 or more workers, those functioning in the implementation of government projects, and enterprises owned by full-time employers registered with the public authority for the development of small- and medium-enterprises.

The decision is not applicable on entities registered in the world category and based in free zones as well, a statement issued by the ministry said.

A total of 1,700,000 foreign workers live in the Sultanate, of which 508,690 worked in the construction sector in 2019 compared to 619,744 in 2017, as per data issued by the National Centre of Statistics and Information (NCSI), the local agency said.

The ministry had invited private sector companies to submit their Omanisation plans prior to January 31 next year. Legal action against non-compliant companies would be carried out, Times of Oman reported last month.

Oman pledged to introduce an online traffic light system for recruitment, that would alert employers if they met their Omanisation quota, according to an earlier report.

Read: Oman to ban firms that don’t meet Omanisation targets from hiring foreign staff

A green light would suggest the allowance to hire foreigners, while a red light would indicate stalled recruitment till the Omanisation quota is met.