Oman to reduce fees of expat work permits, allows employees to switch jobs

Oman to reduce fees of expat work permits, allows employees to switch jobs
This picture shows a partial view of the area of Haramil in the Omani capital Muscat on September 18, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Oman to reduce fees of expat work permits, allows employees to switch jobs

Oman to reduce fees of expat work permits, allows employees to switch jobs
  • Companies bringing expat employees into the country and renewing their work visas will be required to pay $525 instead of $782 until the end of the year
  • Ministry of Labor also said expats leaving the country were exempt from paying the fines they have accumulated during their stay in Oman

DUBAI: Oman will lower the fees of expat work permits renewal until December of 2020 by about one-third the current price, national daily Times of Oman reported.
Companies bringing expat employees into the country and renewing their work visas will be required to pay $525 instead of $782 until the end of the year.
“Permission will also be granted to renew the expired licenses of companies with an Omani workforce, as well as for small and medium enterprises registered with the Public Authority for Social Insurance,” the Ministry of Labor said.
The Ministry of Labor also said expats leaving the country were exempt from paying the fines they have accumulated during their stay in Oman, provided they depart the country permanently. The new decision is valid until the end of the year.
The ministry also approved an “exemption from fees and fines resulting from work permits for non-Omani manpower, provided that they leave the Sultanate for good.”
Private sector companies can terminate their expat employees’ contracts but should commit to pay all workers’ dues, it added.
Meanwhile, employees in Oman’s private sector are allowed to transfer from one company to the other. “Private sector establishments may seek the assistance of manpower belonging to other establishments to work in their facilities, provided a written agreement is signed between the establishments,” the ministry said


Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots
Updated 6 min 36 sec ago

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots
  • The unrest came after Tunisia imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem a rise in coronavirus infections on Thursday

TUNIS: More than 600 people have been arrested and troops have been deployed after a third consecutive night of riots in several Tunisian cities, officials said Monday.
The unrest came after Tunisia imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem a rise in coronavirus infections on Thursday — the same day as it marked the 10th anniversary of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s fall from power.
Interior ministry spokesman Khaled Hayouni said a total of 877 people were arrested, notably “groups of people between the ages of 15, 20 and 25 who burned tires and bins in order to block movements by the security forces.”
Defense ministry spokesman Mohamed Zikri meanwhile said the army has deployed reinforcements in several areas of the country.
Hayouni said that some of those arrested lobbed stones at police and clashed with security forces.
“This has nothing to do with protest movements that are guaranteed by the law and the constitution,” said Hayouni.
“Protests take place in broad daylight normally... without any criminal acts involved,” he added.
Hayouni said two policemen were wounded in the unrest.
It was not immediately clear if there were injuries among the youths and Hayouni did not say what charges those arrested faced.
The clashes took place in several cities across Tunisia, mostly in working-class neighborhoods, with the exact reasons for the disturbances not immediately known.
But it came as many Tunisians are increasingly angered by poor public services and a political class that has repeatedly proved unable to govern coherently a decade on from the 2011 revolution.
GDP shrank by nine percent last year, consumer prices have spiralled and one third of young people are unemployed.
The key tourism sector, already on its knees after a string of deadly jihadist attacks in 2015, has been dealt a devastating blow by the pandemic.
Tunisia has registered more than 177,000 coronavirus infections, including over 5,600 deaths since the pandemic erupted last year.
The four-day lockdown ended on Sunday night, but it was not immediately know if other restrictions would be imposed.


The army has deployed troops in Bizerte in the north, Sousse in the east and Kasserine and Siliana in central Tunisia, the defense ministry spokesman said.
Sousse, a coastal resort overlooking the Mediterranean, is a magnet for foreign holidaymaking that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
The health crisis and ensuing economic misery have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to seek to leave the country.
On Sunday evening in Ettadhamen, a restive working-class neighborhood on the edge of the Tunisian capital, the mood was sombre.
“I don’t see any future here,” said Abdelmoneim, a waiter, as the unrest unfolded around him.
He blamed the violence on the country’s post-revolution political class and said the rioting youths were “bored adolescents” who reflected the “failure” of politicians.
Abdelmoneim said he was determined to take a boat across the Mediterranean to Europe “as soon as possible, and never come back to this miserable place.”
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