More than 19,000 thousand applications have been received from foreign workers to leave Oman for good without paying any fines or fees by the Ministry of Labour since online registration began on November 15.
The scheme aims to facilitate the non-Omani workforce to permanently leave the country and exempt employers from all fees and fines resulting from the expiration of work permits. The registration can be done at the Ministry of Labour's website until the end of the year.
Of the 19,528 applications filed with the authorities, 966 applications were made by workers without a valid work permit while 8,517 applications were filed by those who lost jobs or quit work. 9,581 applications are by active workers while 463 workers had their permits cancelled.
Registration can be done at the embassies, the ministry's website, and Sanad centers. Seven days after registration, the expat can visit the Ministry of Labour office at Muscat International Airport or seven hours before the flight departure. They should carry a valid ticket, travel documents, and the PCR test valid for 72 hours.
If the expat is missing proper documentation, such as a lost or expired passport, he will have to reach out to his embassy.
Expats leaving the country have caused Oman's population to drop by nearly 5% in the 12 months leading to September 2020, according to data from the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The number of expats in Oman stood at 1,706,633 last September, compared to 2,001,003 in September 2019, reflecting a drop of 4.91% over this time frame. More than 40,000 expatriates left in August 2020, when there were a reported 1,747,844 non-Omanis in the country.