Muscat – Scrapping the maximum age limit of 60 years for expatriates to stay on the job in the sultanate by the Ministry of Labour (MoL) is expected to facilitate the workflow of employers and make the country attractive for many expatriates.
MoL recently issued a decision to remove the rule banning the extension of employment visas after 60 years of age. According to Muscat Daily sources at MoL, the decision was taken because there have been a lot of special requests from different companies to allow their expatriate employees to keep working beyond 60 years of age.
For years, this has been one of the topics being discussed among the public wondering why this rule has been there.
“I am pleased and sure that the decision has brought relief to many business people, especially during this period of global economic challenges,” Dr Mohamed H Darwish, retired spinal surgeon and Honorary Consul General of Ireland, said.
“I think that the economy needs brave decisions like this to be taken in order to put the businesses and economy back on its tracks. The knowledge and skills of the people in this age group is invaluable, not only for work but also important for sharing their knowledge with the younger Omani generation,” he added.
Shahzad Raza, a long time resident in Oman who is currently managing a signage and digital printing business, said, “Taking the age limit bar off work visas for expatriates is a great news. This is perhaps one of the most positive steps the government of Oman has taken in the last few months to raise everyone’s spirits dampened by the economic hardships due to the pandemic and its negative effects on the market since 2020.”
“It is heartening to see that Oman is taking steps to not only restore the investors’ confidence in its economy but to keep the interest of quality workforce in its market intact. The latest decision to lift the 60-year bar for issuing work visa to expats is certainly going to be welcomed by the corporate sector, which will be the main beneficiary of this landmark decision,” he added.
However, some say the decision is not be in favour of young Omanis who are looking for career growth. “I am not against people above sixty working but the decision may hinder the growth of young Omanis. If those above 60 are allowed to work further, there would be limited growth among young Omanis because the positions these experienced expatriates host would still be occupied, hence, less opportunities for the youth,” Salim al Tauqi, a newly employed private sector staff, said.
Another step in that direction was taken in Oman last year when the decision was issued in regards to expatriate retirees who can now get a five-year renewable visa if they are 60years old.