Illegal expats in Oman to be offered amnesty

Published:  31 Dec at 10 AM
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Expatriates in the Gulf state of Oman who have overstayed their working visas and are now in the country illegally are to be offered amnesty, a government spokesperson has revealed.

The Ministry of Manpower’s head of media Talib Al Dhabari explained that the country wanted to regulate its labour market so was preparing to offer amnesty to overstaying expats or individuals who had been stuck in the Sultanate indefinitely in the near future.

Al Dhabari noted that amnesty - which is expected to help thousands of workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - will not only regulate the labour market, but also help stranded and undocumented workers travel back to their homelands without the threat of legal action.

The last time Oman offered amnesty to such workers was between 2009 and 2011, and it helped an estimated 60,000 overstayers fly back to their home countries knowing no legal action would be taken against them. Similar amnesty offers were introduced in 2007 and 2005.

In April, authorities in Oman introduced a series of measures to help track down illegal migrant workers. Officials tightened up controls on work permits, raided expatriate lodgings, put landlords under greater scrutiny and placed more stringent regulations on tenancy contracts.
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