Oman widens expat visa ban to include more professions
Oman has announced that it will extend its ban on issuing expat worker visas to include more professions, the Times of Oman has reported.
The extension, which will come into effect at the end of November, will widen the ban to include purchase and sales representatives and workers in the construction, cleaning, and workshop sectors.
Ministry decision number 487/2018, states that the law "will apply to all private establishments, replacing the earlier decision...starting from November 30."
Since January, a ban has been in place banning employment visas for 87 professions. The law was initially due to last six months, however was extended in July.
The current ban includes the media, engineering, accounting and finance, IT, insurance, technicians, administration and HR industries.
Authorities say the visa ban aims to reduce unemployment among Omani nationals, but some experts fear that the law will harm business growth in the Gulf state.
The governments 'Omanisation' drive reflects similar moves made by authorities in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where foreigners have been banned from certain jobs.
According to reports in June, Oman's expat population during the ban's first months had dropped by 43,000 as compared to the same period in 2017. The drop in expat workers marked a 2 percent change in numbers of foreigners working in the sultanate.