Exit permits in Qatar now abolished for certain expatriates

Exit permits in Qatar now abolished for certain expatriates

The government of Qatar has now abolished exit permits for a variety of expatriates. Exit permits are now scrapped for individuals who are not covered by the Labour Law. This includes domestic workers as well.

This initiative is due to the continuing efforts of the government to make sure that the rights of all foreign workers are properly protected. This modern system will help to boost the labour laws in the nation, as well as guarantee the importance that the government places on the rights of expatriate workers.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani issued Decision No. 95 of 2019. This is regarding the “controls and procedures for the exit of some categories of expatriates who are not subject to the Labour Law in Qatar.”

Who are included in this abolishment?

  • Individuals who work in private offices
  • The staff from government agencies and ministries
  • Employees in the field of grazing and agriculture
  • Workers in public institutions
  • Employees who work in the gas and oil sector, as well as in affiliated companies
  • Workers engaged in marine vessels

With the new decree, the above mentioned categories of workers can now permanently or temporarily leave Qatar as long as it is during the period of validity of their respective employment contract. Along with protecting the rights of these expatriates, the new decree will also provide welcome support to the various Qatari companies by boosting overall global competitiveness. This will also help to ensure the conformity of the companies with international labour laws and best practices. Of course, the domestic workers must allot at least 72 hours before they leave to inform their employers.

“The new decision came in accordance with the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 7 of Law No. 21 of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residency,” Major General Mohamed Ahmed al-Ateeq, director-general of the Passports Directorate at the MoI, said.

On top of this, the new developments will also allow the employer to submit a reasoned request of employees who need prior approval before leaving Qatar to the Ministry of Interior (MoI), due to the nature of work of said employees. It’s important that the request should not exceed 5% of the overall number of workers in the company.

According to Mohamed Hassan al-Obaidli, assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, “The Government of Qatar has worked closely with local and international partners and implemented vast reforms to strengthen labour laws and increase protection for expatriate workers, which has made Qatar a leader in the region. This decision is a declaration of our firm commitment to developing a modern system that suits the needs of both employers and expatriate workers.”

“Congratulations to the State of Qatar and its people on this major milestone in the Labour reform agenda!” Houtan Homayounpour, head of the ILO office in Qatar, tweeted.

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