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MUSCAT — A total of 16 guidelines have been identified for all Indians
wishing to come to the Gulf (including Oman) for employment purposes.
Before leaving to a Gulf country, it is imperative that the potential
employee checks and see whether their visa is okay and whether it is
appropriate for the job that they are going to undertake in the Gulf.
“Do not rely on what the recruiting agent tells you. Copies of your visa
should be kept with yourself and with your family in India,” Gopakumar said.
Check and re-check with the recruiting agent or company about the exact
terms of contract — especially about the duration of contract, salary,
working hours, renewal of labour card, place of work and terminal benefits.
If the contract is in Arabic, it should be translated into English and the
exact contents of the contract should be clearly understood.
If the agents/company say that this is the initial contract, the potential
employee should demand for the final contract too.
Before coming for any job in Gulf, including Oman, collect the possible
details of the company/sponsor, like telephone, GSM, fax number, office
For this, you may approach the authorities concerned here, the Indian
Embassy, Indian Social Club, friends and relatives, etc.
Also keep one set of photocopies of the visa, passport, contract/agreement,
details of the sponsor/company, etc. with your spouse/parents/relatives in
India. It maybe of use, if any problems arise.
Checklist for Indian workers coming for employment in Oman
Check with the recruiting agent/ company the exact terms of the contract —
especially about the duration of contract, salary, working hours, other
benefits like housing. Food, vacation, tickets for going home,
responsibility for making renewal of labour card, the place where you are
supposed to work, living conditions and terminal benefits If the contract is
in Arabic you should have it translated into English and also understand the
contents of the contract before signing it. If the contract is an “initial
contract”, then you must ask for the “final contract” and sign that before
leaving India. A copy of the contract should be left with the spouse/parents
(those who figure in the passport).
Check with your agent the exact details (name, address, tel/fax nos) of your
Omani sponsor/ employer (known as Kafeel or Arbab) — whether it is a person
or a company, and the person who is supposed to supervise your work. Get the
telephone number of this person and talk to him before leaving India. Ask
him or the agent about who is going to receive you at the airport, how will
you be transported to your residence or work place, etc. If you are not
familiar with Arabic and English and if this employer knows only Arabic or
English, then you should ask someone else who knows Arabic/English to talk
to him over the telephone from India in your presence to get all the details
and finalise your programme accordingly.
Knowledge of English and Arabic is very useful and it would be good if you
could pick up some basic Arabic before coming to Oman.
While having your passport made either through the agent or directly, you
must furnish your correct particulars and correct address. This is also
important in the case of any untoward incident that may occur. You must
always truthfully record all your particulars. When you get your passport,
please check that all your particulars are recorded properly and if there is
any mistake you should have it corrected. Do not travel on a passport, which
is inaccurate. Make sure that your address, name of wife/ parents are
correctly written. In case you need an ECNR endorsement from the Protector
of Emigrants (POE) office, make sure, that the stamp is for the purpose for
which you are travelling to Oman. You would also have to deposit money
equivalent to one-way fare with the POE. Keep this challan deposit safe as
you can claim the money back at the end of your contract period. Remember:
Your Passport is the ONLY document of your identity while abroad. You must
always carry a photocopy of the passport and also leave a copy with your
wife/ parents in India.
Before leaving India, check whether your visa is the appropriate one. It
should be an employment visa and NOT a visit visa. Do not rely on what the
recruiting agent tells you. Copies of your visa should be kept with yourself
and with your family in India.
6. WORKING CONDITIONS:
Before coming to Oman you must talk to people who are either working or have
been to Oman in the recent past to know about the living and working
conditions. You must be thoroughly acquainted with all this and you must not
come here only on the basis of what your recruiting agent tells you. Your
agent may promise you a lot of things but not all of them are true. It is
always advisable to talk to people who have already worked in Oman to now
the exact situation here.
Photocopies of your passport and the contract that you have signed should be
available with you in adequate numbers.
You must also leave a set of the photocopies of your passport and contract
with full address/telephone and fax nos. of your sponsor with your family in
India so that in time of need you may be able to get the same easily. Carry
at least 10 of your recent passport-size photos with you.
8. AIR TICKET:
When you get your air ticket to Oman you must check how you are going to be
transported to the place where you are to go. Confirm in advance that there
will be someone to receive you at the airport.
9. CAUTIONS BEFORE TRAVELLING
You must be extremely careful not to accept any gift or packet or any item
from the recruiting agent, friends, acquaintances etc. It may contain drugs
or other contraband material.
If you are under medication and if you are carrying certain prescribed
medicines you must have a doctor’s prescription in original and the
medicines should be carried along with its original packing and literature
so that custom authorities can easily identify them.
11. RECRUITING AGENTS’ FEES:
In many cases, recruiting agents are known to charge exorbitant amount of
fees from the workers. The company or person recruiting you would in any
case be paying to the agent, and therefore, there is no need for you to pay
anything to the agent. You should not take a loan, sell land or pawn your
property jewellery to pay the agent. Do not get carried away by the
so-called green pastures’ theory that recruiting agents sell to prospective
candidates coming to Oman and other Gulf countries
You must be aware of how to use telephones at the airports in case you are
stranded at the airport. It is advisable to carry a few contact numbers of
friends etc., in Oman who can be contacted in case of difficulty.
13. NO SECOND CONTRACT ON ARRIVAL:
Do not sign another contract on arrival if the terms and conditions are
inferior to what you signed in India or if it is in a language that you do
not understand. Do not sign on any piece of paper that is in a language that
you do not understand.
14. REGISTERING AT THE EMBASSY
Upon arrival register yourself with the embassy. It is important that the
embassy knows your contact details.
15. IDENTITY DOCUMENTS:
While in Oman always carry a copy of your passport that should have a valid
visa and a valid labour card.
Kindly note that in Oman, the traffic moves on the right side (as against
left side in India) of the road. It takes some time to get used to it. There
are a number of deaths due to traffic accidents owing to this. Pedestrians
have to be particularly cautious while on roads or crossing roads.
Once in Oman, in case of any problem you may contact the Labour Wing of the
embassy at the following address:
Embassy of India, Muscat
P.O. Box: 1727,
Postal Code: 112,
Sultanate of Oman.
Tel: 24814120, 24814274,
( courtesy: Times Oman