Muscat: Extending visa ban will affect the market adversely, company officials said.
A temporary ban on issuing new visas for certain job categories in the private sector will be extended by another six months by the Ministry of Manpower, a decision uploaded on the Ministry of Legal Affairs’ website says.
The decision states that nine professions will have a prolonged visa ban. The decision clarified that carpenters, metallurgists, blacksmiths, brick kiln workers will not get a visa for another six months coming into effect from July 1.
The decision also notes that the temporary visa ban on professions including camel breeder, sales, marketing, construction workers and cleaning workers will come into force on June 1, 2016.
“Banning visas for sales and marketing expatriates are affecting the market. It is continuing here for a long time now. There is no other option than adjust with it,” a marketing firm official said on condition of anonymity.
“We are struggling a lot. Already business is down due to austerity measures adopted by the government. In addition to that, visa ban on certain profession like sales and marketing is affecting the business a lot,” the official added.
Meanwhile, construction company officials said that they are caught in a catch-22 situation with the Ministry of Manpower deciding to extend the ban on visas for expat construction workers for another six months.
Many of them complained that they are unable to complete projects on time due to the shortage of workers.
Since November 2013, there has been a temporary ban in place on visas for construction workers, which is extended every six months.
The ban, however, is not applicable to companies which are rated 'excellent' by the Ministry of Manpower, international companies and consultancy firms, and companies executing government projects.
"We know that almost all companies are affected by the shortage of workers. The companies are compelled to undertake desperate measures to overcome worker shortage and complete projects on time," said an official from a construction company.