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Oman bans recruitment of migrant workers in certain private construction and cleaning sectors

On May 4, 2019

Oman has issued a temporary visa ban on migrant workers in certain private construction and cleaning sectors.

Ministerial order 2019/200 suspends recruitment of migrant workers in enterprises that are engaged in construction and cleaning for 6 months starting from April 28, 2019.

The decree excludes several businesses including those which:

  • employ 100 workers or more,
  • work on government projects
  • Managed by owners on a full-time basis and are registered with the Public Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises and insured by the Public Authority for Social Insurance
  • internationally registered enterprises are based in Free Zone Areas.

Businesses can also recruit replacements for departing migrant workers.

Since the implementation of the recent Omanisation programs, the number of registered migrant workers in Oman has decreased by 3.6 percent, from 1.854 Million at the end of 2017 to 1.787 Million workers by the end of last year.

The Ministry of Manpower has recently reported that 25,000 irregular migrant workers were arrested last year, with most of them in Muscat and most in fourth-grade enterprises.