Oman has drastically reduced fees for issuing and renewing visas to migrant workers. Companies compliant with Omanisation quotas will see an added reduction of up to 89% less than previous costs.
Legally, the costs of employment visas should be borne by the employer, but are sometimes passed down to workers in the form of salary deductions.
The directive has not yet been published in the official gazette. However, according to tweets from the Ministry of Labour, the reductions are as follows:
- Top management workers: reduced from OMR 2001 to OMR 301 or OMR 211 for meeting Omanisation quotas.
- Middle-management workers: reduced from OMR 601-1001 to OMR 251 or OMR 176 for meeting Omanisation quotas.
- Technical and skilled workers: reduced from OMR 301-361 to OMR 201 or OMR 141 for meeting Omanisation quotas.
The tables below provide a more detailed breakdown of the new fees, which will come into effect on 1 June, 2022.
The decision exempts businesses and individuals from fines for failing to renew licenses on time, as long as they do so before 1 September, 2022.
The decision comes following last year’s dramatic increase in visa fees, which saw fees increase from a flat fee of OMR 300 (US$780) for most workers to OMR 2001 (US$5200) for senior-level positions. The move came as part of the Sultanate’s localisation policy, which has accelerated in recent years and further doubled down with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though certain exceptions were made for SMEs and for companies that met Omanisation quotas, the steep costs have hamstrung many sectors still recovering from the pandemic economy.
|Fees for issuing and renewing work-permit for non-Omanis in the commercial sector|
|Categories||Work-permit fees||Work-permit in case of 30% Omanisation rate|
|Top management workers (managers, presidents, consultants and specialists)||301||211|
|Technical and professional workers||251||176|
|Professions that require no skills||201||141|
|Fees for issuing and renewing work-permit for non-Omanis in small and medium enterprises|
|Issuing or renewing the work permit and registration of worker data (1 to 5 workers)||101|
|Issuing or renewing the work permit and registration of worker data (6 to 10 workers)||151|
|Fees for issuing and renewing work-permit for private work (non-commercial)|
|Categories||Number of workers||Work-permit fees|
|Domestic workers||1 to 3 workers||101|
|4 or more workers||141|
|Farmers and breeders of camels and livestock||1 to 3 workers||141|
|4 or more workers||241|
Data Source: Oman Labour Ministry