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Expat visa ban could go beyond six months

Not even a month have passed when Ministry of Manpower had imposed a ban on expat workers in some sectors for six-months on January 25, 2018.

In a move to provide more job opportunities to citizens, ban on issuing visas to expat workers in 87 occupations in Oman may be extended.

Salim Al Hadrami, Director General of Planning and Development at MoM, said, “The provisional decision to ban licences for recruiting non-Omani manpower for 87 occupations is meant to regulate the labour market and provide more job opportunities to citizens.”

“These jobs will now go to Omanis, with the decision to implement the ban to be revisited every six months. The decision was taken to study the labour market status in this respect, and to assess and review the decision every six months,” he said.

The sectors affected include marketing, sales, IT, administers and others.

Reason of the ban

A surge in the number of expatriate workers in 87 occupations has forced the Ministry of Manpower (MoM) to stop issuing visas for six months, a senior MoM official said.

The government has pledged 25,000 jobs to Omanis by the first half of this year and several of these jobs have already been created by private sector companies.

Omani national Ahmed Al Balushi, however, said: “The falling expat population is not always good for the economy as Oman needs talented individuals. At the moment, the Omani workforce needs to learn and gather experience from such individuals so they can run critical infrastructure in the future.”

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