Oman announces temporary ban on “work visas” for expats

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In brief

The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has issued a temporary ban on new work visas for individuals in certain private industries/professions.

In detail

The MoM has issued the decree to ban the hiring of foreign workers in specific private sector industries/professions, namely:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Administration and Human Resources
  • Airport professionals
  • Engineering
  • Insurance
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Media
  • Medical professionals
  • Technical professionals

A total of 87 occupations in the above industries/professions fall under the ban with a view to promoting Omanisation by increasing the representation of Omani nationals in the workforce.

The ban which is expected to last for six months will not apply to the companies which are registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development and the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI). Moreover employers that have procured labour clearances before 29 January 2018 for the concerned occupations can continue to recruit foreign workers until the validity of the labour clearance.

The takeaway

The MoM’s decision to build upon its existing Omanisation framework will affect hiring in Oman. Employers looking to hire will need to consider Omani professionals and plan their resourcing in accordance with the new law.

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