Changing Jobs

The difficulties of changing jobs

Changing Jobs

Since most companies bring expatriate employees to Oman at great expense (especially if they are paying to relocate an entire family), they do not look kindly on foreign workers changign jobs.

In earlier years, workers were hired on fixed period contracts (normally two years), which were renewable with mutual employer/employee consent. This didn´t always work the the employers´ advantage, however, since many employees would negotiate new contracts with competitors as they approached the ends of their contracts. The new employer would then gain an experienced foreign employee without having to pay relocation costs, and the employee would generally be rewarded for his trouble with a higher salary.

Today, contracts tend to be open-ended and include clauses to protect the employer, such as minimum six-month waiting periods between work visa issuance (in which the employee may not change his visa to work for another employer).

Technically, this means that the worker must leave the country for six months before reapplying for a visa if he changes jobs. There are, however, ways around this. For instance, a worker can transfer to a new employer if his original sponsor or employer provides him with a ‘ letter of no objection’ or a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC). While you might think employers would use this requirement to hold their foreign workers hostage, it is not as common as you might imagine. In many cases, employers would rather provide foreigner with a NOC than pay to send them back to their home country.

Even still, don’t assume that a job change will be quick or simple.

In order to have the full support of your new employer, it’s usually best to leave the country for a period and then return under a new contract. When you return, don´t expect any friendly correspondence from your former employer, especially if you are working for a competitor. Omani employers loath disloyalty.

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