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Qatar’s New Sponsorship Law : What You Need To Know

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Tuesday issued law no 21 for 2015 regarding Regulation of the Expatriates Entry, Departure, and Residence. Here are the explanations for the main articles in the law.

(Note that the term ‘recruiter’ has been used instead of sponsor, but refers to the person or company who hired the worker)

Article 7 – Leaving Qatar

The Minister of Interior shall issue a decision to form such committee and specify its jurisdictions and the procedures to be followed by it, in addition to its mechanism of work.

Article 8 – Custody of passport

Article 12 – Residency permits for family

Article 14 – Staying out of Qatar

Expatriate workers who have residency in the country shall not stay outside the country for more than six continuous months unless they get a permit to return to the country before the passage of one year on their exit, on condition the expiry date of their residency did not exceed 60 days.

However, the Minister of Interior or his deputy may overlook such designated periods.

Article 16 – Designated works only

Expatriate residents shall only use their residency permits in the designated licensed purpose only. The worker cannot quit work at his recruiter’s or work at another entity without prior authorization.

Article no 17 – Responsible parties for each visa

Those responsible for the residency of expatriates are as follows:

Article 19 – Notification about workers who quit

The recruiter shall notify the concerned department within 14 days about the expatriate workers who quit working for him or his refusal to leave the country after the expiry or cancellation of his residency permit within the legal period or otherwise the expiry of his visit visa or the purpose for which he entered the country.

Article 20 – Transfer of jobs

Upon the approval of the employer, the concerned department at the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the expatriate worker may transfer to another employer before the expiry date of his work contract.

The expatriate worker may, upon the approval of the concerned department at the MOI and the MOLSA, transfer to another employer :

Article 22 – Litigation between workers and recruiter

Minister of Interior or his deputy may approve the temporary transfer of the expatriate worker to another employer in case of litigation between the worker and his recruiter, on condition of the approval of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Also, the Minister of Interior may grant the expatriate workers, to another employer in case the recruiter abused his rights.

Article 26 – Four year ban in case punishment

If the worker was fired as punitive measure, and did not appeal before the concerned court or his appeal was ultimately rejected, he shall not be permitted to come back to the country before the passage of four years on his departure.

Also those expatriate workers who were repatriated upon a court verdict cannot come back to the country unless they got an approval by a decision of the Minister of Interior.

Article 38 – Penalties for violations

Regarding the penalties for related violations, article 38 stipulates the recruiters or employers who let those recruited by them work at other employers without the approval of the concerned department shall get a jail sentence of no more than three years and a fine of no more than QR500,000 or any of these penalties.

The same applies for the employers who hire expatriate workers not recruited by them without obtaining the prior authorization.


Related :


However, in case of reconciliation before the resolve of the legal case, the violator may pay on a sum of QR12,000 subject to the approval of the Minister of Interior or his deputy according to the set regulations.

– Published on: 28 October 2015