Read here: Expat visa fee set to raise OMR148m for Oman government
Muscat: Job visa fees for expatriate workers will be increased by 50 per cent, the Ministry of Manpower has announced.
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The new fee structure will come into effect soon, according to the official, who said it will become law when it is published in the official gazette.
The change in fee structure was announced by the Ministry of Manpower on its official twitter account. “Currently for workers in private sector, to obtain a job visa and renewing the same, the sponsor should pay OMR201. Now, it has been increased to OMR301,” officials said.
According to the government’s latest data, there are 1,824,282 expatriate workers in Oman.
For domestic workers, camel herders and farm workers, the fees have also changed, the ministry official said.
“For domestic workers, it is different. To recruit up to three workers, for each worker it is OMR141, and to recruit the fourth domestic worker, the sponsor should pay OMR241. Moreover, if the employer is going to keep all four domestic workers and renew all four visas for two more years, then the employer should pay OMR241 for each worker,” the official added.
According to the official, job visas for three expatriate farmers and camel herders under the same employer will be OMR201 for each. However, for the fourth recruit, it will be OMR301, the official said, adding that if the employer is going to keep all four domestic workers and renew all four visas for two more years, then the employer should pay OMR301 for each worker.
“To update information on the nature of the worker status an OMR5 will be charged as fee and the same as well as for switching sponsors,” the official said, adding that the decisions will come out soon in the gazette.
A construction company official said that the new visa fee announcement will have an impact on them.
“Already we are struggling due to the economic conditions. We will be in trouble,” Ahmed Hamoud Al Shabibi, managing director of Al Shabibi Global LLC, told the Times of Oman.
Anvwar Al Balushi, chairman of Anwar Asian Investment Group, said that this is a tough decision from the government in the current climate.
“We can understand the constraints of government. They have to generate money, but such decisions... what to do we don’t know...,” Al Balsuhi added.
KO Devassy, chief marketing officer at Badr Al Samaa hospitals, which employs around 2,000 workers, said that the visa fee increase will have an impact on them.
“It will for sure have an impact on our annual revenue,” he said.
Meanwhile, workers said that they are worried whether the companies may start deducting the increased amount from their salaries.
“Already companies are cutting all benefits, telephone bills, moving us to cheaper accommodation and all. Now, companies will start deducting the additional visa fee from us,” a mid-level employee from an automobile company, said.
When announcing the 2016 budget, Oman’s government announced the adoption of several new taxes and spending cuts following the dip in global oil prices.
Oman’s budget deficit for the first seven months of 2016 rose by 68.3 per cent to OMR4,023.3 million.