Oman’s Minister of Manpower has issued Ministerial Order 517/2019, which renews a temporary suspension on issuing visas to recruit migrant workers in construction and cleaning sectors for another 6 months.
Ministerial order 2019/200 previously suspended the recruitment of migrant workers in these sectors on April 28, 2019. The new Ministerial order, like the previous one, excludes enterprises in construction and cleaning sectors that:
- Employ 100 workers or more,
- Work on government projects
- Are 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
Similar to the previous order, construction and cleaning enterprises can recruit replacements for departing migrant workers.
Given the exclusions, the move appears to be aimed at curbing free-visa trading.
Earlier this year, Oman also extended a ban on recruiting migrant workers in 87 job sectors for a period of 6 months. As a result of similar policies over the past few years, the proportion of migrant workers in Oman has decreased from 45.8% of the total population in 2016 to 42.8% so far in 2019.