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


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.

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.

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.

Related :

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


  1. Sir,, My joel Nabung . a’m finish construct on march 2016 , apply exit on company Daewoo E & C, but i want to come back to qatar another company ..its posible even ,

  2. I am still working under the old contract
    So if i exit now can i come back within one month? Or after two years? I am Sri Lankan

  3. Raju lama on 3march2017

    Dear sir,i would like to ask you regarding the new rules of job change.I’m working here since a three (3) months. I had sined my contract for two years that’s why after one year I can change the job or no here?

    Hoping for your immediate good response have a wonderful day sir.

    Respectfully yours,
    Raju lama

  4. Sinoj Scaria Scaria on

    Dear sir,
    I went from Qatar last august (2016) without cancellation. after two week my company peoples inform me your cancelled so don’t come back. my residence permit expires (18/02/2017) can i come back to Qatar?

  5. Kaleem Mohammed on

    Dear sir i finish my two year contract in December 2016 i came back january 2017 can i come back to another company or visit

  6. Dear sir I finished my contract and resigned to my old emloyer last april 2016 and the employer didnt give me NOC. Can I come back to qatar and find new job? Thank you

  7. dear sir. iam from one years work in my company but my contract is five years. but now cancellation me without reason. i want to do work in qatar others company. but company don’t agree to give NOC. so what i can do now. please tell me thankyou.

    I ask if this is right,I was in Qatar last year 04 December my company don’t give me salary they tell till
    I get driving licence ,saw I ask the labour if is right.remember we have they need us.thank

  9. Radha Krishna Yadav on

    Dear Sir,

    I had gone Vacation on 26-Nov- 2016 From current Company after 2 years and I came on 26- Feb- 2017 in same previous company. if I want go cancel from current company so can I apply any other company? Please le me know. Thanks

    Respectfully yours,
    Radha Krishna Yadav

    • Hi Radha Krishna, This will depend on your contract type and service period. You can transfer to another company only on any of these cases: 1) If open contract, you need to complete 5 years. 2) If limited contract, you need to complete the contract period. 3) If your company agrees to transfer. Or else you need to give 2 months resignation notice to company and leave country after cancelling the existing visa. Then you can come back on new visa without any ban.

  10. I have my niece in qatar who just came two weeks ago, the contract says the family has 3 childreb but she found out 8 children, she wants to quit but her employer rejected , if she qill quit the job and go back to the philippines who will shoulder the ticket and is it not breach of contract and can she still go back there and will not be blacklisted? Thanks

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