The employer must request the employment visa on behalf of a foreign worker age 21 and above from Oman’s Ministry of Manpower. The Ministry provides various e-Services online for Companies / Sponsors and jobseekers concerning foreign labor. Foreign labor invited by a government organization follows a different procedure. If you are an employer you may also consult the Royal Oman Police website.
Process of Sponsoring Foreign Workers
1. Procuring a Labor License
As the first step, the employer must obtain a Labor License for the foreign employee from the Ministry of Manpower. He must submit a procurement application form to be submitted to the specialized directorate in the Ministry of Manpower.
The Labor License provides Labor Clearance for the employer to hire foreign workers. A successful application must meet several requirements:
- The company is compliant with Omanization rules, where the maximum quota for foreign employees in that sector has not been reached.
- The total number of requested staff to be foreign nationals is appropriate for the operations of the company.
- The requested expatriate staff have the appropriate certifications.
- The Ministry of Manpower will require documentation to provide clearance. Once the Labor Clearance status has been obtained, the employer is legally allowed to hire the specified foreign employees.
Oman Work Visa Required Documents
- Omanization plan, describing all positions that will be filed by Omani nationals at certain times.
- List of desired expatriate employees, disclosing positions and genders.
- Copies of all passports of foreign employees.
- Attested copies of relevant certificates of qualification for employees.
- Attestation of transcripts from educational institutions.
- Attestation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the employee’s home country.
- Attestation by the Oman Embassy in the employee’s home country.
- Time: Labor Clearance may take up to two years.
- For medium and large-sized employers with a good reputation and track record, they may apply for a green card to reduce the Labor Clearance process to as short as 6 months.
Fees: As per Oman’s Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) issued a Ministerial Decision (“MD”) No. 12/2021 published in the Official Gazette on 31 January 2021, an increase in the fees related to obtaining a work permit for recruiting non-Omani workforce. The introduced new fees are ranging between OMR 140, which is for work permits of domestic workers and the like, to OMR 2,000, which is for top positions as classified by the MOL and specified professions set out in the MD or for employees with a monthly salary of OMR 4,000 & above, regardless of their occupation.
Special consideration is given to Small-&-Medium-Enterprises (“SMEs”) of which the respective fees for obtaining a work permit can be as low as OMR 100 during the first two years of establishment subject to meeting certain conditions.
2. Job Offer to the Employee
The employer in Oman sends a letter of invitation to all employees who satisfy the conditions and quotas for the Labor Clearance.
3. Issuance of Employment Visa
The employer must obtain individual employment visas for each expatriate to be sponsored. The employer must submit an employment visa application to the Immigration Department of the Royal Oman Police https://www.rop.gov.om/english/dg_pr_visas_employment.html and may be conducted through a one-stop-shop.
Certain requirements must be met by the employee for a valid visa application, which include:
- The employee must be between 21 and 60 years old.
- The person must be of the same sex as stated in the labor permit.
- The occupation and position must be identical to the one stated in the labor permit.
- Some nationalities require special permits.
- Foreign nationals from certain countries require a medical certificate.
- A medical certificate from GAMCA.
As per the Omani Royal Police website, the fee is 20 Omani Riyals.
4. Issuance of Residence Card
Once the employment visa is cleared for the employee, the expatriate must obtain a residence card to legally reside in Oman for the duration of employment. This is done when the foreign employee reaches Oman.
The employee, upon arrival, must travel to the Civil Status Department of the Royal Oman Police to obtain the residence card within 30 days of entry. The employee will undergo a blood test at a medical center and be guided for fingerprinting. Once the data has been collected, the Directorate General of Civil Status will issue the resident card to the employee, which is valid for two years.
Two recent passport photographs
Copy of the passport
5. Obtaining a No Objection Certificate
For any circumstance that requires the employee to change jobs, terminate the employment contract prematurely, or to have the contract expire, they will be required to leave the country for at least two years unless they obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC), which is a document that states that both the sponsoring employer and the government of Oman have no issues with the employee working in the country.
The authorization process is lengthy and the NOC is not issued often. If it is authorized, it may be collected from the port of entry along with the visa.
6. The Employee may Commence Work
Once the employment visa and residence card have been received by the employee, they may commence work with the employer in Oman.
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