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Emir okays changes to sponsorship law

Posted: 10.11.2015

Tribune News Network


The Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani on Tuesday issued Law No. 21 of 2015 on the regulation of entry, exit and residency of expatriates.

The changes to the kafala sponsorship system under the amended law will make it easier for expats to switch jobs and exit the country. The law will come into force one year after its publication in the official gazette.

According to the changes, expats can change jobs after completion of the fixed-term employment contracts. In case of open contracts where the contract period is not specified, expats can switch jobs after five years with the approval from the competent authority in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA). As of now, one had to wait for two years to work in Qatar again if an employer refuses to grant a no-objection certificate to change jobs. 

Expats who wish to leave the country will have to seek the permission of the authority 72 hours in advance.

Regarding exit permit, the new law allows the expat worker to apply for an exit permit to committee to be set up by the minister if the employer denies him one.

On job transfer, the employer, the competent authority and MoLSA may agree to allow the transfer of an expat worker to another employer before the expiration of the employment contract. The expat worker may be transferred to another employer in case of death of the sponsor or the expiration of the legal person for any reason.

In all cases, the rights of the employer shall not be prejudiced under the provisions of the Labor Law or the work contract signed between the employer and the expat worker.

The minister or his deputy may approve the temporary transfer of the expat worker to another employer in the event of litigation between the expat worker and the employer with the approval of the MoLSA.

An employer shall not be allowed to let his expat employees work for other entities or employ other workers who are not recruited for them.

The employer may be allowed by the authority to let his expat employees work for another employer for a period not exceeding six months, which can be renewed for another similar period.

The authority may also allow the expat worker to work for another employer for some time in non-work hours after a written approval from his original employer.

According to the law, an expat worker shall leave the country if his residence permit expires or is cancelled for any reason within 90 days of the expiration or revocation of the permit.

The expat worker may, after the approval of the competent authority, return to the country if he meets the conditions necessary for entry and in accordance with the provisions of this law.

If the expat worker is dismissed on disciplinary grounds according to the provisions of the Labour law and the provisions of the laws governing the affairs of the state employees or any other law, and does not appeal against the decision before the competent court or his appeal rejected by the court, the expat worker shall not be allowed to return to work in the country within four years of the date of his departure.

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