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The Ministry of Manpower will stop issuing visas to non-Omani workers employed in construction and cleaning sectors for a period of six months, effective from 1 November 2013, reports the Times of Oman.
The Ministry of Manpower has disseminated Item 4 of Article 19 of the Labour Law issued by Royal Decree 35/2003 to stop the issuance of visas for workers in construction and cleaning jobs in the private sector.
Companies rated as 'excellent' by the Ministry of Manpower, international companies, companies executing government projects, and consultancy firms are excluded from the ban.
According to the new ruling, companies falling in Grade category (i.e. not ‘excellent’) will not be allowed to issue new visas until May 2014 for non-Omani workforce. However, companies that can produce applications before 31 October 2013, will be permitted to issue new visas, the ruling added.
In addition to this, the renewal of existing visas and recruiting workforce on visas already sanctioned will be permitted. Similarly, the family visas status will also not be affected. However, for any fresh family visa status, the expatriate should have a minimum salary of OMR 600 (USD 1,555).
Earlier this month, the ministry also announced that from 1 November 2013, it will begin to strictly enforce Article 114 of the Omani Labour Law, and will penalise violators.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, companies employing expatriate manpower but found violating Labour Law and Ministerial Decrees would face stringent measures as stated in Article 114 of Labour Law. Companies found to be in violation of the Article will be banned from hiring expatriate manpower for one year.
The Ministry of Manpower also announced that from November 2013 onward, applications from companies looking to recruit expatriate workers will not be processed if they fail to produce all required documentation; such as ownership documents, rent agreement, and the electricity metre number of the establishment.
The latest figures indicated that the Ministry’s inspection teams has apprehended more than 12,000 expatriate workers violating the provisions of the Omani Labour Law in various governorates during the first nine months of this year.