Ministry of Manpower clarifies the recent Visa ammendments

Earlier this evening, the Ministry of Manpower released a statement on twitter clearing up the confusion regarding employment visa's here in the Sultanate. I have picked this up from Merge's facebook page so if the translation isn't correct, I apologise.

The statement is of course in Arabic:

From what I understand, according to the Ministry of Manpower, the reports carried out by newspapers and social media is false and a misinterpretation of the information received!

The ban is only valid on those who DO NOT continue their contract for the full duration. Additionally, releases and transfers of an expat employee from one employer to another is still permissible and allowed based on the current rules and regulations.

Well there you have it then, you can all go back to sleep again. I for one am happy that we all got it wrong. Epic fail to the national press for duping us all!

le fin.
Ministry of Manpower clarifies the recent Visa ammendments Ministry of Manpower clarifies the recent Visa ammendments Reviewed by Sythe on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Nevertheless, the ROP statement was printed in the Muscat Daily today... do the ever talk to each other???!?

  2. What if the original emloyment contract is for unlimited duration? How will one determine when such contract is over?

  3. This is actually good news - the original announcement was typical of all the worst of Oman (unfair, arbirtrary, unplanned, poorly-executed, capricious) BUT once the s*it storm hit some senior people who care about Oman and how it is percieved obviously responded with lightning speed (for Oman) to row back to what is actually a fairly sensible policy if you buy in to the whole sponsorship/NOC thing (I don't but then that is another argument). It shows an increasing maturity of the place -but I wouldn't want to be the guy who developed the original plan now!

  4. The "clarifications" by the Ministry of Manpower also lacks clarity.No surprise here.

    But so far as I am concerned the notification published by the ROP in all leading English newspapers were crystal clear.The news papers were also reasonably clear.There need to be a 2 year hiatus before an expat( read foreigner!) comes back to Oman on an employment visa after leaving a job (for whatever reasons).
    The next day the ROP clarified that NOC's are also to no avail.So every thing was clear.

    Now according to the Ministry of Manpower, the reports carried by newspapers and social media is false and a misinterpretation of the information received( also the ROP notification?).Let that be so.

    Now the MOM says that the new policy is not applicable to contracts that have run its course ( means fulfilled or completed)). This may apply to contracts of limited duration.What about unlimited contracts?When do these run its course?Now it seems that NOC's are also valid.
    As suggested in earlier comments, the people and entities responsible ( in coordination) need to do through research, consider all possibilities and weigh all pros and cons before coming up with decisions having wide reaching ramifications and is susceptible to various interpretations ( and speculation)
    The people in charge may even need to look at the international commitments of the Sultanate ( like treaty obligations, ratified conventions, FTA's etc) before formulating policy.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. What I deleted by accident above was about there being new restrictions on women expats? Anyone know what that means?

  7. There is a write up about the previous announcement by the ROP in today's Oman Daily Observer " NOC needed for employment visa" which essentially says two things

    1)If someone fails to get an NOC from the employer he/she has to leave and cannot be back for 2 years

    This means that an an employer can essentially decide your fate ( by withholding NOC).This doesn't take care of a person whose contract is terminated by the employer or a short term contract among other possible scenarios.

    2. For workers who are accused of illegal acts the ban is forever and they can never return to the Sultanate ( exact words from the news item)

    Please note that an accusation( as opposed to conviction from an appropriate court)from the employer is sufficient for a life time ban.So a complaint ( true or false)from the employer may be sufficient to trigger a life time ban!
    More "clarifications" and "explanations" in the days to come are expected.

  8. as per my knowledge, these rules were their long time ago but it wasn't forced. The issue is that there are many expats come to Oman specially for the SME companies and they leave after few months saying that they got a better offer and the SME will be in a deep shit as they are SME at the end of the day and they spent thousands and thousands of Omani rials to get this expat from this country and will go into waste.

    BTW, ROP has put a small statement in their AD "According to the Rules and Regulation in Oman" which means you need to refer to the Man power rules and regulations

  9. Thousands and thousdands of rials? I think that is a bit of an exaggeration, unless they are recruiting people from Antartica.

  10. Anonymous at 11.25

    SMEs and larger companies around the world do the same yet in many other parts of the world the emphasis is on recruiting the right person the first time round, paying their market value and treating them well. When that happens, staff stay with the company and any investment into training is made back several times over.
    At the end of the day we are all after a quality of life and when we don't get it we look for it.

  11. well.. Look at at it this way

    Try to recruit a maid from the East Asian Countries.

    You will need to pay at least 1000 OMR to get one

    Example you are an SME and you want to get 10 workers for a restaurant. you will need to spend at least 10000 OMR to get them

    Some workers come here from these countries they dont consider that their sponsor paid at least 1000 OMR to get them from their country to Oman. They depart to another restaurant or company after few months and then the SME is forced to pay again at least 1000 OMR to get his replacement and again and again.

    I know that the rule is a bit harsh and i totally agree with that but it wasn't forced until everything was a mess.

  12. It makes you wonder, a little bit, if the best way to research a major labour policy shift is to throw it out there in a half-baked and deliberately vague form, wait 3 days and have the researchers trawl social media for the full range of responses so that the issues can then be fully explored and the final decision can be made in clarifications. Any step back from the worst case scenario will have expats/those who weren't in favour breathing such a sigh of relief that they'll more readily absorb other changes. Or am I just being cynical?

  13. If passport block how can make renualt labor card ? Any change again make a labor card issues

  14. If passport block how can make renualt labor card ? Any change again make a labor card issues

  15. If passport block how can make renualt labor card ? Any change again make a labor card issues

  16. Anonymous about the housemaid resturant worker rule: this ban was already in effect before the new law... for example if I cancelled my runaway housemaid's visa (and she was a theif too) she'd be banned from working in the entire GCC for two years. That already existed.

    Why not just ask new employers to take on the costs of the breached contract to hire these people if they really want them---that what we did---- we transferred her visa. No way was I wanted to buy her a plane ticket after she already stole from me ect/// : so she found herself a new employer and he was willing to pay her leftover contract, and take over the responsibility of getting her a plane ticket home when she wished to leave. That would solve some of the trouble now wouldn't it, if they'd enforce it beyond housemaids...

    Restaurant workers are a big trouble so I hear.

    But this law has been around forever.

  17. If sponsor mistake and He apply after 1 year can't possible? Because somebody ask if anyone runaway and he pay 420 Omr in labor office after than he can make new residential card . Just I want know it's true?

  18. What I would like to know is how is Oman going to execute $100bn worth of projects between now 2020if there is no expat experience available.
    I am all for training Omani's to do the work, but they need to be responsive to training and also need to get experienced. If job changing is made difficult - this will be a disaster for these project.

  19. Can any one please clarify what is this noc... is it just a noc or a release from our old employer to new

  20. First of all. ..admit that local omani is not competent enough. Most of the Omani people have "khalli balli " attitude and don't care about their superiors and works. Its hard but truth that these arab can't do anything without the help of expats. Our 10th standard school boy is far better than their engineers or MBA. I bet they don't have IQ. Putting ban on expat only is partiality...they should ban local omani also who quite often leave jobs.

  21. I got an interview to diwan oman as mech engineer.My medical was over and it has been 10 months since Im waiting.All the paper works was also completed within a month but my visa is still not issued since 10 months.Please anyone help with comments whether I have to wait anymore.

  22. Rejitha
    Don't be so optimistic. ...its Oman (arab)...may b you will get letter after 10 years:):(:):).

    Don't wait and look for another options. Its a old saying....Horse n ass are same in gulf..just depends on your luck.

  23. can business people keep their offices in Residential complex.Is it legal or illegal.

  24. What if you cancelled 3 months before rules announced?and u go back as a visit visa and want to apply employment visa still noc ? Who knows answer pls let know thanks

  25. I am working in a llc company from jan 2014 for 800 omr but the company is paying 650 my family is here when ever I asked them they will tell we wil clear it now I asked them they give me termination letter then I searched for another job and get good ome more than my package I asked the company noc they are not willing and now they are asking to continue for 500 omr ple help can I change my job my designation is manager but in visa it is mech tech the company is llc but my visa in name ofa establishment company ple help can I change with out noc

  26. Is it possible, when an employee completed his contract and exited to home country. Did he need to get new visa without NOC?

  27. I came to Oman 10 days back, I was told will get good accommodation and all the facility and will increase salary after 3 months. But now situation just changed I got pathetic acc no food and they said sal will be increased after 2 years. Now I have an offer from other co and till now I have not made my labour card. Can I change job or what can I do. Please help....


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