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Oman Assures Bangladesh of Legalizing 96,000 Illegal Workers


Oman Assures Bangladesh of Legalizing 96,000 Illegal Workers. Oman has committed to legalizing 96,000 undocumented Bangladeshi workers, according to Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury, State Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment. Choudhury shared this development with journalists in Dhaka just before Eid al-Adha.

“Approximately 96,000 Bangladeshi workers are currently living illegally in Oman. The Omani government has promised to legalize them. Although there is a penalty for this legal proces. We have requested the Omani government to waive this fine,” Choudhury was quoted by Bangladesh media.

Regarding the suspension of all new visas for Bangladeshi citizens, which Oman imposed effective October 31, 2023. The minister revealed that the sultanate has decided to issue new visas. “Oman has assured us they will accept new workers from Bangladesh under 12 categories. They seek skilled workers, and we have discussed this matter. If skilled workers start heading to Oman, unskilled workers will follow. These arrangements will be made gradually,” Choudhury explained.

On June 12, the Embassy of Oman in Dhaka released a statement confirming the exemption of certain categories of Bangladeshi nationals. from the visa ban issued in October of the previous year. The exempted categories include family visas, visit visas for Bangladeshi citizens residing in GCC countries, visas for physicians, engineers, nurses, teachers, accountants, investors, and all types of official visas and high-income tourists.

The statement added that the embassy would receive and process all applications within these categories. They would be coordinating with the Royal Oman Police to issue the visas. “Furthermore, the Embassy would like to reassure all concerned with the ban on work visas that many steps have been taken by authorities and officials in Oman and Bangladesh. This would pave the way towards lifting the ban on work visas as soon as practicable.”

Following the visa suspension notice, the embassy clarified that one reason for the temporary suspension was to address the growing number of laid-off workers who resort to illegal employment without legal protection and rights. “The review will ensure that workers and employers’ rights are fully protected,” the embassy stated.

This assurance from Oman marks a significant step in addressing the status of Bangladeshi workers and underscores the collaborative efforts between the two nations to resolve labor issues and enhance employment opportunities.

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