Expats can change sponsor only after contract termination

Muscat: With the government’s decision to scrap the (No objection Certificate (NOC) rule for expatriate wishing to change sponsors or employers coming into force, concerned authorities said Observer that some conditions must be met.

Speaking to the Observer, a senior ROP said, “Expatriates are free to change their sponsor at the end of their contract with the employer.”

The government’s decision to scrap the NOC rule has been one of the eagerly awaited labour reforms in the private sector, especially among residents. However, there have been reports of some expatriates were refused to visit visa with messages saying, “If it was with a different sponsor, NOC must be attached.” Siju Kumar who left his job in Oman a year ago was recently denied a visit visa.

A legal expert based in Muscat said that more clarity on some matters is needed as there are many expatriates who wish to change the job.

Under the tenth five-year plan, Oman is expected to issue new labour and civil service law, which will focus on providing training courses
aiming at developing youths’ skills, which are required by the job market.

As per the decision, the expatriate on a resident visa may be transferred from one employer to another who has a license to recruit
workers provided the evidence of the expiry of the contract or termination of the employment contract is presented with proof.

The government stated that one of the main advantages is that it will raise the level of competitiveness of the Omani worker compared

to the expatriates by reducing the wage gap between them.
“The decision will also contribute to reducing cases of non-Omani workers running away from employers, especially those under pressure from employers who have the right to issue a no-objection certificate and deprive a person to work in the sultanate within two years of the end of his contract,” the statement said.