Employers may prevent former employee who leaves job early from obtaining new visa

29 Aug 14

OMAN

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Oman is enforcing the non-objection certificate (NOC) system that gives employers the right to prevent a former employee who did not complete an employment contract from obtaining a new visa with a new employer.

What does the change mean? A company may object to a former employee’s application for a new visa with a new employer.

  • Implementation timeframe: The rule went into effect July 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals working in Oman who do not complete their contracts, employers applying for visas for workers who did not complete their contract with a previous employer, and employers who may now object where a former employee left the job early.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: The rules will deter employees in-country from leaving their employment before completing their contract.

Background: A new employer hiring a foreign national in-country should be aware that an NOC is required from the former employer to be able to obtain a new visa. A former employer who does not want to allow the employee to work for a new company may refuse to issue an NOC to the employee, thus preventing the employee from obtaining a new visa for a period of two years from the date of the stamp on the visa. On the other hand, if the former employer issues the NOC, it means that it does not object to the employee taking up a new job even though he or she did not complete their prior work contract. Under the NOC system, employers cannot prevent an employee who finds work with another company outside Oman from leaving Oman. The employee has the right to leave and request that their work visa be canceled. However, such an employee must wait two years before applying for a new Omani visa.

BAL Analysis: The non-objection certificate system is intended to protect employers against losing employees who switch jobs before the end of a contract. It is intended to ensure employers can recoup their expenses from hiring a foreign national, including visa and processing fees. However, the NOC requirement also applies in cases where the employer terminates an employment contract early due to cut-backs or the employee’s poor performance.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Oman. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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