Oman: Foreign Nationals Blocked from Filling HR Positions

 

By Fragomen May 23, 2019
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​Effective immediately, the Oman Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has restricted employers in the private sector from applying for or renewing work visas for foreign nationals in certain professions, including human resource managers.

The government has not stated if or when these restrictions will end. But this ban is likely permanent and has been issued in addition to the existing temporary ban on hiring foreign nationals in 87 professions, implemented in January.

The newly restricted professions are:

  • Assistant general manager.
  • Managing director.
  • Human resource manager.
  • Personnel manager or officer.
  • Training manager.
  • Follow-up manager.
  • Public relations manager.
  • Assistant director.
  • All administrative and clerical professions.

Impact for Employers

Since the new regulation further 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—if it is lifted at all.

Impact for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals in these restricted professions can remain in their positions until their work visas expire. Once their work visas expire, they must either amend their job titles or find alternative jobs in different professional categories, as their visas will not be renewed with the current job titles.

Background

In recent years, the MOM has implemented measures to increase the number of Omani nationals working in the private sector, including the ongoing suspension of the recruitment of foreign nationals in 87 other professions and the amendment of part-time employment regulations for Omanis.

Looking Ahead

A strong focus on hiring Omani nationals is expected to continue as the unemployment rate among young Omanis remains relatively high compared to other countries in the region.

Some neighboring countries, including Saudi Arabia, also struggle with high unemployment rates. But instead of restricting foreign workers, they are increasing efforts to attract foreign investment. For example, Saudi Arabia has approved a draft law that would introduce residence permits for highly skilled and wealthy foreign nationals; the United Arab Emirates has introduced a long-term residence visa; and Qatar has implemented permanent residence for select foreign nationals.

Fragomen is an international law firm with reach into nearly every country in the world. © 2019 Fragomen. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.

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