Times of Oman
Dec 02, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 04:08 AM GMT
Employer, employee can mutually agree on family visa transfer or cancellation: Legal expert
January 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

I have resigned from my current job and will be joining a new company in Oman. So far, I have been on an employment visa with dependents (family visa). My dependents are in India right now and will not be able to come back for visa cancellation on health grounds. However, they have more than one year valid visa left. Is there any way we can get the visa cancelled? My current employer is ready to give NOC provided I provide OMR400 (OMR200 for each dependent) as a guarantee (refundable after cancellation or transfer of visa) for the same. What is the legal position of this guarantee understanding? Further, the company is also asking for OMR50 as a guarantee money against any miscellaneous event (refundable after 2-3 months). The company has also decided to give final settlement through bank transfer instead of cash. I have been in Oman for over eight years and have been with the current employer for the last five years. I just wanted to know whether such terms and conditions are in line with Omani labour law.
Navaid Razi

There are no such provisions in the Omani Labour Law as explained by you. However, any employer and employee may agree on terms that are mutually acceptable and convenient for both of them. The dependent's visa normally requires no cancellation as it will get automatically cancelled upon expiry of the term, unless renewed within the stipulated grace period. So, your family can stay back in India until the end of their visa period and thereafter enter Oman under your sponsorship at a later date. But, if you want to transfer their visa before the expiry of the current term, you would either require a no objection letter from your current employer or they will have to exit Oman after cancelling the present visa.

Cancellation of resident visa is normally required for employees as their status as employee is directly linked to the Ministry of Manpower against a Labour Clearance. Once an employee resigns and leaves the country, the employer is entitled to obtain a substitute for the former employee and this would require issuing the Labour Clearance afresh for the new employee. This could be possible only if the residence of the resigned employee is cancelled and the same is recorded with the Ministry of Manpower. This condition is not applicable for dependants as their residence status is not linked to a Labour Clearance.

I am the son of an Omani national holding a Kenyan passport and I am now based in Muscat on an employment visa. I have been trying to get a family visa to be able to shift my family to Muscat as my father is getting old and needs assistance. However, I have been getting various responses and answers from officials when I  sought details about the process to go about. I hope you will be able to give me guidance on this matter.

Even though you are the son of an Omani national, for all practical purposes in Oman you will be treated at par with any other expatriate employee as you are holding Kenyan passport and are on employment visa in Oman. To be eligible for family joining visa (to bring your wife and children) your minimum salary should be OMR600 as per the current rules and regulations. 

You may not be able to bring your other relatives (including your mother) to Oman on family joining visa as the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has stipulated some amendments to the rules regarding sponsoring of parents on family joining visa. You may, however, bring your other relatives on visit visa to Oman if you are able to satisfy all conditions set by the ROP.

Times of Oman, in association with Khalifa Al Hinai Legal Consultants, will answer the legal queries of readers every Monday. Questions can be sent to readersclub@timesofoman.com

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this column are for general guidance purposes only. They are based on facts presented to us and are not substitu

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