Qatar’s Ministry of Interior announces end of expatriate grace period

Ending on the 31st of March, the grace period for expatriates to make sure that their stay in the country is legal should be fully taken advantage of to ensure that companies and expat workers avoid any penalties and violations. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) also urges expatriates along with community leaders to make use of the scheme.

During a recent press conference, the Search and Follow Up Department (SFD) and Unified Services Department have declared that facilities have been provided in order for companies and expat workers to use the scheme, resulting in violation settlements being cut down to 50%.

“Beneficiaries can rectify a violation by transferring from one employer to another. They can approach one of the five MoI service centres at Umm Sulal, Umm Sunaim, Mesaimeer, Al Wakra and Al Rayyan for this. A violation can also be rectified by paying the settlement amount and getting the residence permit issued/renewed under the existing employer. Beneficiaries can go to the Al Shamal, Al Khor, Al Daayen, Umm Salal, The Pearl-Qatar, Onaiza, Souq Waqif, Rayyan, Umm Sunaim, Al Sheehaniya, Mesaimeer and Al Wakra service centres for this,” says Capt Mohamed al-Rashid, officer from the Unified Services Department.

This is all according to Article 45 of the law that regulates the residence and the entry and exit of expats. These workers must correct their legal status in order to avoid any costly fines.

“The grace period exempts violating expatriates who wish to leave the country from legal responsibility without holding them accountable for the violations,” says Capt Kamal Tahir al-Tayri from the Search and Follow Up Department.

The Search and Follow Up Department will entertain concerns on Residence Permit (RP) holders who have already gone past 90 days since expiration, as well as RP holders with “Leaving Work”’ complaints filed against them. There are more concerns that can be addressed during the grace period, so it’s best to take advantage of it before it ends when the month ends.

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