Two-year visa ban on expats in Oman to impact market, say experts

Business Thursday 21/January/2016 06:26 AM
By: Times News Service
Two-year visa ban on expats in Oman to impact market, say experts

Muscat: Tightening the two-year visa ban imposed on expatriates in Oman will impact the market, said a Chamber of Commerce official on Wednesday.
“The new move will affect the market. Already it is struggling due to the oil price dip. Due to the new move, the market will be affected. We have tried to resolve the issue with the government and the police. However, nothing has happened,” Mohammed Hassan Al Ansi, senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said.
Two days ago, Royal Oman Police (ROP) officials said possessing a No Objection Certificate (NOC) will not ensure that an expat can return to Oman after leaving his job within two years of exit from a new job.
Many complaints filed
Another ROP official said the decision was taken as there were many complaints filed with the public prosecution against the police force itself from previous employers as many NOC letters that were presented were fake. A Shura member welcomed the ROP’s move and said it will reduce bad NOC practices in the market.
Read also: Expatriates return to Oman in limbo after tightening of two-year visa ban rule
‘It’s a racket’
“A majority of the NOCs have been issued in unskilled workers’ cases. It’s a racket. ROP’s move will put an end to it,” the Shura member said. “We should understand that a skilled person will not run after the NOC. He can find a job back home or in other countries. So, why should he?” he added.
Visa request denied Meanwhile, on Wednesday an Indian expatriate confirmed from India that his new company officials’ request to possess a visa for him was denied even though a NOC was presented.
“I have left my car, money in account, and household items in the rented flat in the hope of returning to Oman on a new job. Today (Wednesday), the company is saying that they will not be able to process the visa for me even though there is a NOC. I am totally clueless about what I should do. I have lost the job, which I had in my hand, and couldn’t manage to get a new one,” Vinay M, told the Times of Oman (TOO).
Many other expats, who left their jobs in Oman in the hope of returning, are now planning to go to the United Arab Emirates.
Re-consider their move
Tonia Gray, general manager at Competence HR, said when the new rule becomes widely known, many expats may well in the first instance focus their search for employment in the other GCC countries, where the regulations are less restrictive.
Mohammed Al Khaldi, board member of the General Federation of Oman Trade Union, told TOO, “It will force workers to toe the employer’s line, which does not fall under the purview of the contract.
The rule might have been implemented in a good sense to avoid workers shifting jobs frequently, but it seems it’s going to hurt the workers badly.”
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