Expatriate workers who have stayed in Oman beyond the expiry of their visas are in for some good news, as the Sultanate plans to offer amnesty to them shortly.
“An amnesty for overstaying workers will be announced soon,” Talib al Dhabari, head of media at the Ministry of Manpower, told a local newspaper. “This will help in regulating the labour market in Oman. It will help the undocumented and stranded expatriate workers to fly back to their home country without facing any legal action.”
Over 60,000 expat workers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan were flown to their home countries without facing any legal action when a similar amnesty was offered from the end of 2009 until the beginning of 2011. Amnesties were also announced for illegal workers in 2005 and 2007.
Shameer PTK, is a Muscat-based social worker who was actively involved in each of the earlier offers of amnesty fully supports the latest announcement. “Offering amnesty to workers is a laudable move. I agree that some workers deliberately overstay in Oman, but a majority of them get stuck after losing valid documents or because they do not have the money to renew their documentary status.
“Others fall in the category of having fled the sponsor due to some differences.”