Qatar’s new law on Exit Permits to come into effect on Oct 28

Qatar’s exit permit reform will come into force from October 28, the Joint Coordination Committee between the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs said in a statement.

The Ministry also urged the employers to register the name of employees who will require prior approval before leaving the country due to their nature of work.

The joint committee “announced that the Law No. 13 of 2018 will be enforced by amending certain provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015 regarding the entry and exit of expatriates and their residency from October 28, 2018.”

The percentage of such workers shall not exceed 5% of the total number of employees. It should be submitted to the ministry through the online platform, which has been launched on the Ministry’s website

Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had issued last month the Law No. 13 of 2018, amending certain provisions of the Law No. 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates. The law had amended the article No. 7 of law 21 of 2015.

The amendment stipulates that the expatriates under the labour law have the right to leave the country temporarily or permanently without exit permit while his work contract is valid.

The law stipulates that the employers have the right to submit a list of employees who require prior permission to leave the country to the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs.

The request must indicate clearly the reasons and the list must not exceed 5% of the company’s employees to take approval before leaving the country as per the nature of their works.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) had both welcomed the new legislation allowing expatriate workers covered under the Labour Law to leave the country without an exit permit.

The new law “marks a significant step in upholding the fundamental rights of migrant workers in Qatar”, the ILO Project Office for Qatar had said in a statement. Sharan Burrow, general secretary of ITUC, also lauded the new legislation and said it marked “a huge step for workers’ rights and the end of the kafala system for migrant workers in Qatar”.

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