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New amendments in Qatar’s work and residence permit laws

14 October 2019

Qatar's two apex bodies, MoI and MADLSA jointly announced certain new measures favouring the work and residence permit laws in Qatar. Already there is a boom in Qatar Labor Market after this tiny nation received the prestigious permission to host the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup. To live and work in Qatar you need a visa given by any local sponsor. According to the new measures, an Expat’s son can work in any private sector staying under their sponsorship.

The new measures also included granting temporary work visa for selected professions. The visa application fees are also proposed to reduce by 20 per cent. These Visas will be delivered electronically through MoI’s website. Director-general of the Department of Passports, Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Ateeq announced these new measures at a press conference held recently in Doha.

law updates in Qatar

The officials further explained that the ministry needs a no-objection letter from the head of the Expact’s family for the family member to work without changing sponsorship. After submitting this written approval letter and required fees the work permit will be issued to the expat. The temporary work visas will be valid from one month up to six months. For one month and two-month visa, the charges will be QR 300 and QR 500 respectively. The renewal charges are QR 200 monthly for the visas valid above three months and up to six months.

Brigadier Al Ateeq further mentioned this revolutionary change will come after amending Article No. 17 of Law No. 21 of 2015. Once the changes are implemented, all members of an expatriate family can work in Qatar with any private-sector employer. Thus, the obligation of transferring their sponsorship to the private employer will come to an end. This currently applies for only daughters but after the new law is implemented, the male members of the expatriate family will also get benefited.

Brigadier Al Ateeq further added these temporary work visas will help to meet the short term labour requirement in the country for certain professions. To speed up the entire process these visa’s can be obtained electronically from MoI's website and Metrash 2 after submitting the required documents and fees. This is in accordance with the "ministry without paper" campaign.

Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs of the MADLSA Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidli pointed out certain advantages of this temporary work visa. The private sector employers will be benefited with a reduced labour recruitment cost. The labour market will also be benefited from the marginal labour surplus issue.

Al Obaidli further explained, MoI and MADLSA jointly believe that this newly proposed law will create a suitable environment for domestic and foreign investments in the country. The guidelines, conditions and requirements of these temporary visas were jointly formulated by both these authorities. He also mentioned that the temporary work visa is issued after verifying a temporary work contract between the expat worker and the private employer. This is in accordance with Qatar's Labor Law No. 14 of the year 2004.

The worker also needs to pass the required medical examination by visiting the Qatar visa centres located in their home country. In case the visa centres are not present in their home country, they can complete the medical procedures immediately after entering Qatar. Lt. Col. Ahmed Abdullah Al Harami, Assistant Director of Legal Affairs at MoI further stated that the ministry is on its way to finalize the procedures of this proposed new law.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries

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