The situation

The Ministry of Manpower issued a decision imposing an immediate suspension of the recruitment of foreign national workers in 87 professions across various industries, which is expected to last for six months. The suspension is meant to increase the number of Omani nationals working in the private sector.

A closer look

The affected industries are as follows:

  • 16 professions in the information and technology sector, including:
    • Computer engineer;
    • Graphic designer; and
    • Information security specialist.
  • 15 technical professions, including:
    • Building technician;
    • Electronic technician; and
    • Construction technician.
  • Seven professions in the engineering sector, including:
    • Civil engineer;
    • Mechanical engineer; and
    • Projects engineer.
  • Four professions in the administration and human resources sector, including:
    • Administration Director;
    • Business Administration Specialist; and
    • Public Relations Specialist.
  • Other professions affected include:
    • Seven professions in accounting and finance sector;
    • Eight professions in the aviation sector;
    • Six professions in the insurance sector;
    • 16 professions in the media and information sector; and
    • Three professions in the medical sector.

Exemptions. Employers and foreign nationals who are exempted from the suspension of recruitment of foreign national workers include:

  • Employers registered with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises and with the Public Authority for Social Insurance will be exempt from the ban.
  • Employers in the affected occupations with employment quota clearances that were approved before January 29, 2018 can continue to recruit foreign nationals throughout the validity of their quota authorization.
  • It is expected that foreign nationals in the affected occupations who are renewing their visas will continue to be able to do so.

Impact for employers

Since the new regulation heavily restricts the employment of foreign nationals across various industries in Oman, employers will need to increase their efforts in recruiting from the local workforce until the suspension is lifted.

Impact for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals will not be able to take new jobs in the above listed sectors until the suspension is over.