65,173 expat workers register to leave Oman permanently

A total of 65,173 expat workers have registered to leave Oman permanently since October 15, 2020, including 46,000 workers who have already left the Sultanate, local media reported.

According to Oman News Agency (ONA), the Ministry of Labour has announced that the total number of the workforce wishing to rectify their status and leave the country permanently has reached 65,173 workers, of whom 46,355 have actually left.

The ministry made it clear that the amnesty scheme ends on March 31, adding that requests received after this date will not be dealt with under the amnesty scheme. Such applications will be processed in the usual manner, in which defaulters will have to pay fines.

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The amnesty scheme was launched by the Sultatne on October 15 in a bid to minimise the negative repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic on various sectors.

Earlier, the Ministry of Labour announced expats leaving the country will be exempted from paying fines they have accumulated during their stay in Oman, provided they depart the country permanently. The decision was valid until the end of 2020 but was extended till March 31.

According to the Ministry of Labour, private sector companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic can continue laying off expatriate workers until March 31, 2021.

“Companies can terminate the services of the expat workers provided all past dues are paid to them and with the condition that they leave the country,” a statement from the Ministry said.

This comes at a time when the county is intensifying its Omanisation plans. Last year, Oman’s Ministry of Manpower launched an initiative to increase the Omanisation rates across the country’s expanding tourism, industrial and logistics sectors, so as to provide more employment opportunities to locals in the country.

In 2020, the travel and tourism sectors were asked to meet an Omanisation level of 44.1 percent, the logistics sector 20 percent, and the logistics sector 20 percent, and the industrial sector 35 percent.

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