Times of Oman
Jul 05, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 05:04 AM GMT
Oman expat labour ban: No decision yet on getting “no objection certificate” from sponsors, say ministry officials
May 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM
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Muscat: The Ministry of Manpower said it has not yet decided whether expatriates who obtain a "no objection certificate (NoC)" from the current employer can work for another sponsor. "We are looking into this matter," said a ministry official.

Confirming the announcement made by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) Sunday, the official said, "Employment visa will not be issued for a foreigner who previously worked in the Sultanate and has not completed two years from the date of last departure."

In response to media reports doing the rounds that there will be a ban on changing sponsors in the Sultanate, effective June 1, the Ministry of Manpower denied the report in a statement released through its Twitter account.



The tweet explained that the issue was still under study as the ministry was cooperating with the competent authorities to regularise the labour market in the Sultanate.

"The new rule will be announced later," it said.

A reliable source at the Royal Oman Police informed the Times of Oman that the law was the result of a recommendation made by the Ministry of Manpower.

"The ROP is an executive body and it has nothing to do with formulating labour law. The Article 11 in the Passport and Residence Act in Oman states that employment visa will not be issued for a foreigner who previously worked in the Sultanate and has not completed two years from the date of last departure," said the source.

He added that the law existed earlier but was kept on hold on the recommendation of the authorities concerned.

"The law is likely to protect the sponsor and the expatriate workforce, too," said the source.
He added that the law was to be activated from June 1 but since the ROP was keen on giving companies a grace period to sort out visa issues, the immigration authorities decided to activate it from July 1.

An official clarified that no employment visa would be issued after July 1, 2014 to any foreigner who has not completed two years from the date of last departure. Therefore, anyone who has resigned now should receive their visa before the deadline.

To get in touch with the reporter fahadnews@timesofoman.com

Column: Will the 2-year ban work in the best interests of Oman?


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