Muscat: Oman has extended its amnesty for illegal foreign workers to leave the country without being fined to the end of October, a Manpower Ministry official said. More than 14,000 illegal workers have applied for the amnesty so far.

8,000 of them have already been deported, while the rest will be deported after legal procedures are completed, added the official.

The official said that more than 60,000 foreigners, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, have taken advantage of the six-month period which started on May 3.

The amnesty will only apply to absconding workers and those who have overstayed their visa periods. Infiltrators will not be included in the amnesty, the official told Gulf News.

Expatriates constitute 1.82 million, or 44 per cent, of Oman’s total population of 4.16 million.

“Illegal workers will be allowed to leave the country as long as they don’t have any pending cases,” said the official.

According to Omani media reports, there are around 40,000 undocumented Bangladeshi workers, 4,000 Pakistanis and 3,000 Indians.

Some 546,487 Bangladeshis, 609,096 Indians and 214,258 Pakistani workers have valid official documents.

Oman has intensified its campaign against infiltrators and illegal foreign workers by carrying out weekly inspections and raids

Earlier last May, more than 1,000 illegal expatriates were arrested for working in the new terminal building under construction at Muscat International Airport.

Those illegal workers had visas issued for jobs in restaurants, barber shops, tailor shops, as housemaids and camel keepers.