Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Tuesday issued Law No. 21 of 2015 on the regulation of the entry and exit of expatriates and their residency. The law is more commonly known as the new sponsorship law.
Al Sharq has published the full text in Arabic. Here are the major points as translated by Doha News :
- Expats who wish to leave the country must inform the Ministry of Interior at least three business days before their exit.
- The MOI would then wait for the sponsor’s approval or objection before permitting the exit.
- Other than this (any objections), the employee can leave the country once their employer informs the ministry of their approval that they can go on holiday.
- If the sponsor objects to their exit, expats can petition an MOI-sanctioned committee.
- In the event of an emergency, the grievance committee would handle the petition within no more than three business days.
Change of jobs
- After a fixed-term contract is up, an expat would not have to leave the country before changing jobs.
- An expat can change jobs before his contract ends if he obtains permission from his sponsor, the MOI and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA).
- An expat can change jobs if his contract has already ended if he gets the approval of MOI and MOLSA.
- In the case of expats with open-ended contracts, they can seek this approval after five years with their initial job.
- An expat can also move to another sponsor – with the approval of MOI and MOLSA – if the sponsor is dead or the company no longer exists for any reason.
The legislation does not use the word kafeel (sponsor), instead referring to the employer as “the person who licensed you to come into the country.”
All concerned authorities, each in their capacity, are to implement the law and it will be applicable one year after its date of publication in the official gazette.