Departing staff should cancel their old visas

Khalifa Al Hinai Legal Consultants

I am an expatriate employee of a leading contracting company in Oman. My Company does not cancel visas of employees even after a six months' notice period and giving the final settlement. Employees who resign are normally repatriated without cancelling their visas. This creates a big problem for many employees as they find it difficult to return to Oman under another sponsorship. What solution can you suggest for this problem?

We have come across quite a number of such complaints where the employers have resorted to the unscrupulous practice of not cancelling the visa of the resigning employees just to prevent them from returning to Oman under a different sponsorship.

This type of muscle flexing is often done by big contracting companies as they can afford to lose a couple of clearances. (Unless an employee's visa is cancelled, the employer will not be able to get another clearance for the same slot). This practice is not only illegal but also unethical. Oman Labour Law is very specific about the right of an employee to resign and look for alternate employment opportunities subject to the prevailing rules and regulations. There is no ban on changing employer or looking for better prospects.

The affected persons may approach the Ministry of Manpower and the Immigration authorities against this practice of any company. The employees may inform the Royal Oman Police (ROP) duty officers at the airport that they are being forced to leave Oman without cancelling their visas and the officers concerned would send them back from the airport with specific instructions to approach the Ministry of Manpower to redress their grievances. Employers feel emboldened to continue to commit such mistakes since people accept any type of inhuman and illegal treatment without raising their voice at the proper forum and at the proper time.


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The real issue here is what can employees do, outside of getting a lawyer involved, to tackle these unscrupulous employers who exploit their liberty. There is no clear guidance or procedure to follow and no guarantee that employees grievance will be properly addressed. Who to complain to? Any form(s) to fill as evidence of complaint made? How long is the investigation period? How will employees be compensated? What action will be taken on these employers? The employers will only stop their malpractice if there is tougher law on them. If there are no consequences to their illegal practice and immoral behaviour, why should they stop.

I was forced to leave the project after I found the clients staff and contractor joined hands to commit unethical and against clent knowledge changes to project specification suiting the contractor. I was not allowed to speak after I found a major malpractice. My employer (Consultant) cancelled my visa on priority. Surprising isnt it? But i dont know whom i should contact to bring these malpractices to be exposed. The client is Govt agency and has a clean policy.

very nice to hear of that.the only doubt remains whether returning employee will be heard at the airport?this law is purely in favour of the employees but its awareness is essential, i think the muscle power of such big companies will work to stop the entry of their there some hidden pleasure in it?