According to the Times of Oman, the Omani government has recently lowered the minimum salary threshold for migrants to sponsor their families. Citing a senior official from the Royal Oman Police (ROP), the newspaper reported that the monthly salary ceiling for sponsoring dependents has been revised to OMR150 (equivalent to US$389)
Previously, migrants were required to earn a minimum monthly salary of OMR350 (US$909) in order to sponsor their family members. The ROP official further emphasised that sponsors now have the authority to influence family visas, stating that, “Sometimes they are in a better position to decide whether they can support their family in Oman.”
In the past, the monthly income threshold for sponsoring family members was set at OMR600. However, in 2017, this threshold was reduced to OMR350. Sultan Al Abri, a member of Oman's Shura Council, highlighted that this decision was made based on a recommendation by the Council with the aim of bolstering the Omani economy.
The information provided above is solely based on local media reports. Though media reports on the decision were published several months ago, the Royal Oman Police has not released any official statements regarding the recent reduction in the minimum salary threshold for sponsoring family members. Notably, the official website of the ROP continues to state that the minimum salary requirement to sponsor a family remains at OMR600 (US$1,558).
The decision to reduce the minimum salary requirement for migrant’s sponsoring dependents seems to be in response to the decline in the number of migrants residing in Oman due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Migrants play a vital role in driving the demand for residential rentals in Oman. While reduction in salary requirement is a positive step, the overall challenge lies in the combination of increasing cost of living, low wages, and exclusions from state subsidies and social provisions, which collectively make it challenging for many migrants to financially support their families in the Sultanate.