Qatar’s new labour law to be enforced from 13 December 2016

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Qatar’s law no. 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates will come into force on December 13, 2016.

The law was published in the official gazette (Issue No. 29) on December 13. It is to be implemented one year after the date of publication in the official gazette.

Issued on October 27, the law has replaced the Kafala (sponsorship) system with a contract-based system and cancelled the exit permit system.

Removal of two-year ban

The law has removed the two-year period required for an expatriate worker to return to the country to take up a new job, after his departure.

As per the new law, the worker can return to the country two or three days after his departure if he gets a new contract and fulfils entry visa requirements and if there is no court verdict against him.

Brig Mohammed Ahmed Al Atiq, Assistant Director General, Department of Boarder Passports and Expatriates Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, told a press conference at the Ministry of Labour that the Kafala system will end with implementation of the new law, The Peninsula reports.

Job contract to decide employer-employee relation

The job contract signed by every expatriate worker with his employer will rule the relation between the two sides.

Both sides are obliged to respect the contract period, whether it be two or five years.

Exit permit not required

An exit permit from the sponsor will no more be required for an expatriate worker to leave the country. He only needs to inform the employer that he will be leaving, the daily quoted the official as saying.

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The Ministry of Interior earlier explained that to leave the country, an employee needs to apply its departments concerned through Metrash 2 and inform his employer three days in advance.

The employer has no right to stop the worker from leaving the country and in case of any objection from the employer, both sides can approach the grievances committee to be set up under the law to look into such complaints.

The law has stipulated that in case of an emergency, the worker can leave immediately after notifying the employer and by approval of the authorities concerned.

The new law has raised the fine on employees for keeping the passports of expatriate employees from QR10,000 to QR25,000 for each passport.

Change of jobs

The law also allows expatriate workers to change jobs subject to conditions.

Expatriate workers with fixed job contracts can change their work and sign new contracts if they wish so at the end of the contract period. For this they don’t need approval from their current employer.

However, an approval is needed from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

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If the job contract is open-ended, a worker can change job after five years with approval from both ministries.

More details about options to change jobs can be found here.

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- Originally published on 15 December 2016 - Updated on 1 December 2016


  1. Mohamed Faizan on

    Dear sir,
    My Name is Mohamed Faizan.I came to qatar 2015.02.17.and coming 2017.2.17my contract period is finsh. than i leaving from qatar.again when i can come to qatar join for the another company. give me the details for my opinion.
    thank you.

  2. Muhammad Qurban on

    I was work 4year in Qatar 2012 to 2016 then I cancel my visa .So now I want to come again in Qatar. An other company give me the detail for my opinion.

  3. Dear sir
    I came from Qatar last year in November to finished my two years contract and I want to again come in Qatar with new job if it is possible give me sugetion
    Dilip sahani

  4. Dear sir I am returned from Qatar to India 2016 October last week but my company is not give return Noc also now any chance coming to Qatar. Please tell me sir

  5. Sir have a good day, I have something to ask you regarding my status, my contract is only two years, but I work more than three (3) years now straight without any signing of new contract, I start working here in Qatar last Sept. 2013 until present, my question is, I’m eligible to transfer to other company if there is a good offer for me? example, If my company didn’t provide an NOC for me, so that I can present it, to a new company, Please I need your clarification regarding this matter, because I really confuse what is the best solution to resolve this issue.

    Thank you,

    Respectfully your,

    Eulogio Consuegra jr.

  6. Dear Sir,

    Good Eve!

    i would like to ask & clarify regarding about the contract that we’ve sign for a two year contract based on our agency in the Philippine before we enter here in qatar. but my company tells me that i have a five years contract base on qatar new labor Law i was “Shock & surprise for what she said” would you think this is legal base on the beige of contract we sign? or there is a contradiction between the length of contract that i sign here.,because i was planning to cancel my visa or refuse to renew my visa this coming march ,for my first year with-in this i have a rights to leave my company early if i’m not willing to continue working,? did i violate any rules on my company? or would you think they misuse my contract that we you thinks which contract do i have to follow or believe?

    Hoping for your immediate response , God Bless Qatar.!

    respectfully yours,

    Michael ecube

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