Oman has reduced the minimum salary requirement for expat workers to bring family with them by 50%. Previously, expatriates needed to earn OMR600 a month (USD 1558.44) to obtain visas for family members. Now expatriates only need to earn OMR300 (USD779.22) per month to qualify for a dependent visa.
The move seems to go against recent regional trends of increasing the costs of family visas in order to reduce expat populations. For example, Saudi Arabia recently increased the expense of bringing family by levying monthly fees on all dependents.
Oman’s motivation is to boost the local economy, in particular, the real estate, retail and insurance sectors, according to Shura Council Member Sultan bin Majid Al Abri. The importance of expats to local economies has often been stressed by local business owners and the IMF ahead of decisions to arbitrarily reduce expat populations.