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Expats in private sector urge Ministry to re-consider old residency law

Several expatriates working in the private sector have appealed to Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi, to once again analyze its decision of linking residency period to validity of commercial licenses granted to some private firms.

The commercial licenses of few companies are valid for a year, and this implies that expatriate workers will get residency for only a year. According to expats, this affects the employees who are required to travel to GCC and other foreign countries, as visas are issued only if the residency period is valid for minimum of six months from date of applying. Therefore, after the initial half a year of residence renewal, they have no choice, but, to cancel their travel plans, or postpone their trips, or cancel the existing residence and get a new one.

The expatriate also pointed out that their nature of work requires travel of their company branches in other nations, and may sometimes have to attend conferences or training.

They urged the Minister to re-consider the old law, which was effective prior to the automation, and that allowed workers to gain residence for two to three years, and enabled them to travel for work without having to renew residency every six months.

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