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Expats’ return to Oman from Oct 1 without NOCs: Momen

September 25, 2020 00:00:00

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladeshi expatriates, who got stuck here due to Covid-19 pandemic, will be able to return to their workplaces in Oman from October 1 next, reports UNB.

He said the Bangladeshis can return to Oman by any airlines without the obligation of having no objection certificate (NOCs) from the Embassy.

Dr Momen said they got the message from the Omani government on Thursday.

But the returnees must have valid Omani resident permits or Iqamas, valid passports and Covid-19 test reports, Dr Momen said.

He also said the returnees will have to go on a 14-day mandatory quarantine after their arrival in Oman.

The Foreign Minister trashed the perception that the Saudi Arabia will send back 54,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh.

There are many people to instigate because Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia maintain very good relations with 2.2 million workers in the KSA.

He said the Saudi government wants Bangladesh to provide passports to 54,000 Rohingyas, as the Saudi government does not keep stateless people.

"It doesn't mean the Saudi government will send them back to Bangladesh," Dr Momen said.

The Foreign Minister said many years ago-around 39 to 40 years, the then Saudi authorities had taken Rohingyas seeing their sufferings. "They didn't have any passport."

Though the Rohingyas have been living in Saudi Arabia for decades and speak Arabic, they do not have any passport.

Bangladesh made it clear that it will give them passports only when there is proof that they used to live in Bangladesh and they have relevant previous documents.

Dr Momen said the Saudi government urged Bangladesh to take back 462 Rohingyas who are currently in Saudi jails for committing criminal activities.

Bangladesh Mission checked it and found only 70-80 people have Bangladeshi passports.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh will bring back those 70-80 people having Bangladeshi passports by issuing travel documents. "We don't know about others."

Bangladesh is already overburdened with over 1.1 million Rohingyas who are living in Cox's Bazar district.

On Wednesday night, the government urged the expatriate Bangladeshis who will return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia to maintain discipline while collecting air tickets and applying for visa extension following due procedures.

The government also urged the expatriates not to create any chaos instigated by any third party.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) specially mentioned three locations-the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka, ticketing booths of the Saudi Airlines and Biman Bangladesh Airlines-where expatriates Bangladeshis must maintain discipline.

Bangladeshi workers who got stuck here will be able to return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia smoothly soon as both Biman and Saudi airlines got permission to operate apart from addressing visa and Iqama issues.

The Saudi government agreed to extend visas for the Bangladeshis, if already expired, who want to return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia.

"Only a few cases of visa expiry, not that all visas have expired," said the Foreign Minister.

The visa extension process for those whose visas have expired will start on Sunday.

He also said Bangladesh workers' Iqamas will remain valid for 24 more days and there will be further extension, if needed.

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