Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The extension of ban for employment visas to expatriates came into effect from May 4, 2014 in Oman

MUSCAT — The Royal Oman Police (ROP), in coordination with other authorities concerned, has decided not to issue employment visas for expatriates, who have previously worked in the Sultanate and not completed two years from the date of last departure after leaving a company.
Announcing this, the ROP said this is in accordance with the requirements of the expatriates Residency Law and will be implemented from July 1, 2014.
Last month, the Ministry of Manpower extended by another six months a ban on employing expatriate construction workers and housekeeping staff in the private sector.
The extension of the ban came into effect from May 4, 2014, continuing a six-month ban which was due to expire on May 1.
The ban has been extended after reviewing the needs of the expat labour market and the decision is based on recommendations from the Committee of Sectoral and Contractors Association, which appealed to the ministries concerned to regulate the labour market.
The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are exempted from the ban. This has been done in agreement between the ministry and the Public Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises.
It is worth mentioning that recently Oman has decided to limit the proportion of expatriates working in the private sector from 39 per cent to 33 per cent and has outlined steps to increase the percentage of national manpower in the private sector and to rationalise the recruitment of expatriates apart from affirming its commitment to limit the level of expatriates working in the private sector.
The labour market regularisation comes in response to the demographic changes witnessed by the Sultanate’s job market.
The recent NCSI data reveals that the expatriate population rose 0.28 per cent to touch 1.7659 million by the end of February 2014, as against 1.7614 million during the previous month.
This constitutes 44.2 per cent of the country’s total population of 3.9919 million, of which 2.2260 million people or 55.8 per cent are nationals, according to the data.
Of the total 1.7659 million expatriates, 1.5345 million are employees working in various sectors and the remaining 232,000 people are their family members.
The growth of foreign workers is mainly driven by the construction sector, especially infrastructure projects.
For the expatriate population, the number of males is higher than females, with 1,448,816 males versus 318,580 females. The Governorate of Muscat recorded the highest percentage of expatriates which stood at 62 per cent of the total population of the governorate by the end of March 2014, while Omanis comprised 38 per cent of the residents. In Al Dakhiliyah the ratio of Omanis is 77 per cent compared to 23 per cent expatriates.