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Expat work permits for 74 professions to cost RO 2,001 apiece


Recruitment of expatriates specialising in as many as 74 different trades, distributed across eight broad professional categories, will be subject to steep fees under revised tariffs for obtaining work permits that are due to come into effect from May 1, 2021.

Ministerial Decision 12/2021 of the Ministry of Labour, published in the Official Gazette on January 31, 2021, features a list of around 74 professions that will attract the maximum fee of RO 2,001 per application when private firms seek work permits to recruit expatriates belonging to these trades.

In an advisory to clients, global professional services firm PwC said the move was part of a series of initiatives adopted by the Omani government with the aim of “addressing nationalisation programme targets by making the national labour force less expensive for employers to recruit”.

The measure will also help bolster non-oil revenues, it noted.

The new fee of RO 2,001 per work permit, up from RO 300 previously, will apply to trades featured in a ‘Professions List’ included in the Ministerial Decree, in addition to those earning a monthly salary of RO 4,000 and above, regardless of their profession.

The Professions List, compiled by PwC, is as follows:

1. Information Systems: Information systems security & protection specialist; Geographic information systems specialist; Electronic computer networks; Electronic maintenance of programmed machines; Electronic Computer maintenance; Electronic Draftsman; Electronic monitoring equipment assembly agent; Electronic Technician — Communications; Electronic technician — Control devices; Electronic technician — Medical devices; Electronic technician —Radio transmission; Electronic technician — Programmed machines; Electronic technician — Computer networks; Computer programmer; Electronic computer engineer; and Electronic computer operator.

2. Sales and Marketing: Sales specialist; Stockist; Commercial Agent; Commercial Manager; and Purchasing and logistics specialist.

3. Administration and Human Resources: Business Administration Specialist; Public Relations Specialist; Human resources specialist; and Administration Manager.

4. Media: Media specialist; Pages organiser; Paper-drying machine operator; Binding machine operator; Book decoration machine operator; Paper-polishing machine operator; Paper-dye machine operator; Invoice printing machine operator; Cylindrical printing machine operator; Rotary printer operator; Offset printing machine operator; Colour printing machine operator; Flatbed printing machine operator; Paper-folding machine operator; Paper-coating machine operator; and Advertising agent.

5. Healthcare: Dresser; Pharmacist Assistant and Medical coordinator.

6. Airport Operations: Flight guide; Stockist; Tickets inspector; Aircraft Take-off Monitor; Air traffic controller; Aircraft Landing Monitor; Airport passenger transport monitor; and Ground guide.

7. Engineering: Architect; Survey engineer; Civil engineer; Electronic engineer; Electrical engineer; Mechanical Engineer; and Project Manager.

8. Technical occupations: Buildings technician (building supervisor); Electronic technician; Road technician (road controller); Mechanical technician

Laboratory technician / soil mechanics; Steam turbine technician; Lab technician / construction materials; Gas networks technician; Construction technician; Transfer stations technician; Generating stations technician; Electrician technician; Thermal coefficient technician; Maintenance technician; and Chemical technician.

The revised fee for mid-level positions (or those earning a monthly salary ranging from RO 2,500 to RO 3,999, regardless of their trades) is RO 1,001 per work permit.

For other categories, the revised fees are as follows: Specialised & technical professions (RO 601); Artisan marine fisherman (RO 361); Other professions (RO 301); Domestic workers (1 to 3 workers) RO 141; Domestic workers (4 workers & more) RO 241; Farm workers and camel breeders (1 to 3 workers) RO 201; and Farm workers and camel breeders (4 workers & more) RO 301.

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