IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Oman has lowered the minimum income required of expatriate workers to sponsor family members.
What does the change mean? Expatriate workers earning 300 Omani rial (about US$800) per month may sponsor family members. Previously, an income of 600 Omani rial per month was required.
- Implementation time frame: Immediate.
- Visas/permits affected: Family visas.
- Who is affected: Expatriate workers sponsoring their spouse or children.
- Business impact: The lower minimum will allow more foreign employees to sponsor family members and could make Oman a more attractive location for expatriates.
Background: The change was announced by Shura council member Sultan Bin Majid Al-Abri via his personal twitter account: “The condition for obtaining a visa for family members joining an expatriate employee has been amended from a minimum salary of OMR600 to OMR300.”
Since 2013, Omani law has required that foreign workers earn a minimum salary of 600 Omani rial to demonstrate they are able to support family members. The decision to reduce the minimum salary by half is intended to improve the economy by encouraging expatriate workers to remain in Oman with their families.
BAL Analysis: The change is part of Oman’s national “tanfeedh” five-year economic plan to diversify the economy, attract foreign investment, and create tens of thousands of jobs by 2020.