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However despite these new rules many expats have yet to leave, and the Omani government seems to getting impatient. Targets that have been set for the optimum expat population are some way from being reached.
Drug-related offences will result in an automatic ban from any subscribing member while all other reasons will be treated on a case-by-case basis. That said, the fact that an official will have to personally consider your case means likely delays for those found lacking. In addition, scrutiny of this sort may not be acceptable to everyone.
Expats who have overstayed their welcome and now have no visa – or who are working illegally – can no longer afford to leave though the normal channels, just to enter another neighbour and start the process again.
In light of this, the Omani government has indicated that it is planning an amnesty on illegal expats, with the aim of allowing illegal workers to leave without problems. Doing so should help to reduce the expat population here; the ultimate goal of the Omani government.
Only time will tell how many expats make use of the forthcoming opportunity though it seems that unskilled Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers – who often end up as street vendors or working on construction sites – are most likely to benefit.
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