Muscat: Expatriates who procure a "no objection certificate" (NOC) from their employer can join a new place of work without any restriction, Said bin Saleh Al Kiyoumi, chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), has clarified.
Speaking to the Times of Oman's sister publication Al Shabiba, he said that as per Article 11 in the Passport and Residence Act, any expat workers in Oman who leave their jobs will not be able to return to the country for two years, but clarified that as per the old law, expats with a "no objection certificate" from their sponsor can return to a new job. "So the same criteria that existed will apply with regard to the no objection certificate rule," he said.
Al Kiyoumi said the business community has welcomed the government's move to impose two-year ban on foreign workers to re-enter the country on a new employment visa because "it protects their rights and organises the labour market". He said this law has been a long-standing demand of the OCCI and businessmen at large, and is a positive decision.
He explained that the Chamber has been receiving many complaints from businessmen and citizens whose businesses were being negatively affected since this rule was relaxed. Thanking the vice-president of the Supreme Council for Planning and the Inspector General of Police and Customs for their prompt response to the demands of businessmen, he said, "It will enhance the overall performance of the private sector."
Meanwhile, reacting to "no objection certificate" rule, Salim Al Mashani, Majlis Al Shura member, Taqa, said, "I welcome this move. I believe it's everyone's right to be able to opt for their choice of workplace. My only concern is that people shouldn't misuse this law."
Al Mashani said though some people might resist the activation of the new law now, they would eventually get used to it in a couple of years.
"This is a positive move for the business houses. Employees need to show loyalty rather than hopping from one company to another. Anyway, now with the no objection certificate element included into the new ruling, it has become completely fair to both employers' and employees' points of view," said G. Roy who owns an entertainment company.