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Oman extends grace period for migrants to leave or regularize their status

On January 11, 2021

Oman’s Ministry of Labour announced that it will extend the grace period for employers to correct the work status of their expatriate employees without paying fines until 21 January.

Under the grace period, employers are allowed to amend profession titles, wages and allow the transfer of their migrant workers to other employers. As mentioned in our previous report, it remains unclear what mechanisms are in place to ensure migrant workers – who already have little agency under the kafala system – have a say in changes to their contract.

The Ministry of Labour also extended the grace period for migrant workers to permanently leave Oman without paying fines until 31 March 2021. 

The previous grace period was set from 15 November through 31 December 2020. According to a Ministry official, out of 57,847 migrants who applied for the exit scheme, only 12,378 have left so far. Many migrants whose passports were confiscated or expired remain stranded in Oman and were not able to avail the previous amnesty, particularly those with no embassy in the country. 

According to Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information, more than a quarter of Oman’s migrant workers have left Oman amid the Covid-19 pandemic.