Oman expat labour law: No plan to defer two year ban on expatriate return

Illustrative purpose only: Times Graphic/Files

Muscat: There is no plan to delay the implementation of the ban on return of expatriate workers, senior officials have said.

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the Ministry of Manpower have refuted all rumours in this regard, Talib Al Dhabari, a public relations officer at the Ministry of Manpower, and an official at the ROP, both said.

"There is no change in the date of application of the 'two-year ban' on return of expat workers to Oman. It will come into effect from July 1. The ROP is an executive body and it has nothing to do with formulating the labour law, Talib said.

"Article 11 in the Passport and Residence Act in Oman states that the employment visa will not be issued to any foreigner who has previously worked in Oman but has not completed two years from the date of last departure," said a reliable ROP source.

"The law will be applicable to everyone," said Al Dhabari. However, he added that a no objection certificate (NOC) will not be necessary if the expat was to rejoin his previous employer.

After the 'two-year' ban comes into effect, the only way expats will be allowed to switch employers in Oman would be if they could get an NOC from their current employers, even if they have completed the period of their contract. They will then not be forced to leave the country for two years.

The ministry and the ROP clarified that an expat who has been issued an NOC will be allowed to join another company while in Oman even before the initial contract is complete.

However, businesses in Oman will lose an expat visa from their company quota if they issue an NOC to employees who want to move to other jobs within the Sultanate, say officials.

As per the rules, the  employers would have to choose between issuing the no objection certificate, and then being unable to hire another expat or retaining the employee and not issuing the NOC.

In other words, the employers would have to choose if they want to reduce the number of foreigners their business can employ, or refusing to issue the NOC.

An official at the Ministry of Manpower confirmed, "In case an expatriate leaves Oman after getting his visa cancelled, the employer is eligible for a visa in place of that employee.

However, if the expatriate joins another company on the basis of an NOC but within Oman, the old employer will not receive a visa in his place."

Curb on expats
The ministry and the ROP have also confirmed that if an employee completes the initial contract and leaves Oman, he or she could return to work in Oman within two years if he/she has secured an NOC, and uses it to obtain a new visa with their new employer before leaving the Sultanate.

A reliable source at the ROP explained that the law has been in existence since long but is being enforced now. "The ROP has decided that it is the right time to activate the law as we have received many recommendations from businessmen and enterprise owners," said the ROP source.

"The decision bans the expatriate workforce to join another company before completing two years from the date of departure," said the source from ROP.

If an expatriate has not completed two years after departure, and is called to rejoin the same company after leaving the Sultanate, then the worker will be exempted from the law.

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Reader Comments

I have worked in Oman and resigned and left Oman in April 2014, can i get the new visa since the ban is implemented on 1st July onwards ???

Hi!i still i can not understand that this rule pass or not?please tell me that i am working in oman from 16 months now i want to go cancel.tell me that is i came after 8 months or after 2 years?and is i need NOC paper after join or before join new job in oman?

What is this..the rule is implemented or news they said it will come from july 1..but still not any news about this law..

IMO, this law should only be applied to those expats who havent finished their visas and would like to transfer to another company. If this law stay as it is I think that it will favor the employers.

Please postpone this rule atleast end of the year.

Please advise me what I Need to do.
I am working in Oman from last 4 years the details are below
Last year may I was joined my present company
So current visa is JUNE 2013 - JUNE 2015 (COMPANY NAME - B)
But last week i got another new offer from big company. So please tell me
As per Oman New rule will make trouble to make a new visa Please tell me.
And I want to change company means what are the documents I need to request in my present company.
Advance Thanks for your Useful information.

Al least the rules can postpone until end of the year, so that every one can plan and find another job in some other company. I started my career since 30 years back in Oman and I dont want to leave Oman because I love Oman.

My company (M/s Galfar Engineering & Contracting SAOG) has given one month notice and terminated my contract without mentioning any reason before completion of my two years contract. Regarding this I made a written complain in labor department (Ruby Office) and informed to my company. Looking the seriousness of Matter Company first threatened me. While I had not bow, then company HR Department called me and made a compromise and they gave me two month salary in advance without work and they have not recovered Furniture Advance which was almost OR 2700/00. By the way at that Time Company has not given any NOC to me. Please sagest how can I get employment VISA from the other company.

This law will allow the locals to get more job in Oman ensuring Omanization, but this law will be a major threat for SMB & SoHo segment. There will be a slow down in Oman market ... like a recession.... thus rise inflation.

But is there any law ban ensuring the locals do not jump jobs with in the contract period... if they jump jobs breaking the contract... they should be penalized.

Now my present company releasing me due to lack of work front.
I want to join another company.what i should do?

then we start the career in own country after complete the two year and start the searching jobs again, And if someone not getting much salary and he is looking new job because they cant manage the expenses then?

i think this rule not be implement what you say guys?

Dear Editor,
Further t my yesterdays comments I say that implementation of this in rule be deferred by one year at least to 2015 and the incoming expats be put on guard so that they do know on day one that they have to return after two years or else work on the whims and fancies of the same employer if they want to continue. Such a situation may help incoming expats to come mentally prepared. However from Omans point of view concerned ministry may note that this will be a matter of winning the battle and loosing the WAR. It is derogatory to any developing country who should welcome talent and not discourage. Even developed nations like USA welcome this then why Oman should destroy its own prosperity. Anyways at least continue present arrangement for one year and put all incoming and existing expats on notice of one year particularly those who complete original contract if TWO years successfully. Hope better sense will prevail in the interest of Oman at least in the fields of engineering and Healthcare.

I dont think that the rule has given any clear clarification to many aspects. There are many questions to be answered. But thats again a different thing. Nobody will be benefitted from this rule in future. The running projects would be left unfinished and the companies will go under severe loss. This rule is just to make the lives of expatriates tougher. Maybe indirectly asking them to leave this country. Seriously, I dont know why our Govts are not looking into it with some concern.

Skilled or Talented employees will get job anywhere in this world. I think instead of making things tougher for the expatriates, they should make it little tougher for the locals so that they can feel the sense of responsibility. Make them work hard to earn the salary. Expatriates are not going to stay forever. They should respect the efforts and hard work of the foreign workers for bringing up the country where it is now. I hope the expatriates learn something from this move.

Dont understand why Oman wants to go backward instead of putting forward ?

plz stop it as soon as bcoz it can be harmful for those who are in truble in some compny.

Still am confused about this law.