Qatar announces new measures on work and residence permits
Doha: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA) have announced a number of measures on work and residence permits to be implemented soon.
The measures include allowing the sons of residents to work in the private sector without changing their sponsorship. New decisions also include granting new visa for temporary work in some professions and jobs and reducing the fees by 20 percent for MoI’s services, which are delivered electronically.
These measures were announced at a press conference attended by Director General of the Department of Passports Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Ateeq, Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs of the MADLSA Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidli and Assistant Director of Legal Affairs at MoI Lt. Col. Ahmed Abdullah Al Harami.
Official explained that for a family member of an expat to work in Qatar without changing sponsorship they will have to get a written approval from the head of the family and obtain a work permit from the ministry after paying required fees.
As per the proposal, these visas will be issued by MoI after the approval by the MADLSA while all required procedures will be carried out through Qatar Visa Centres abroad or soon they arrive in the country.
Temporary work visas valid for one month will be charged QR 300 and for two months QR 500. Visas valid from 3 to 6 months will be charged 200 for each month.
Brigadier Al Ateeq said that these measures were based on Qatar’s intention to utilize the capabilities of sons of expatriate residents in the country.
He added that work is underway to develop a legislative tool for this proposal through the amendment of the provision of Article No. 17 of Law No. 21 of 2015 so that it allows all members of an expatriate family to work with any employer in the private sector without being obliged to transfer their residence.
As per the current system, only daughters are allowed to work without changing sponsorship. As per the new proposal, all members of the family will be allowed to work without changing their family sponsorship.
On the introduction of a new temporary work visa in certain professions and jobs, Al Ateeq said that these visas will be granted to private companies, commercial establishments and other licensed entities in the country to perform some emergency, temporary or seasonal work that requires the workforce for a specific period, season or occasion.
Regarding the proposal to reduce fees for services rendered and completed electronically, the Director General of the Department of Passports said that this comes within the framework of Ministry of Interior’s policy of facilitating procedures and providing services to beneficiaries in the best way possible in order to achieve the goal of “ministry without paper” through electronic systems and high quality automated programs such as the e-government system, the MoI’s website and Metrash 2 for submitting and completing applications to obtain the required services with minimal effort and less time.
During the press conference, Director General of Passports announced the proposal to introduce a new temporary work visa system for some professions and jobs in order to accommodate the need of the labor market and create a suitable environment for domestic and foreign investment.
For his part, Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs of the MADLSA Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidli pointed out that there are a number of advantages in the proposal to allow the sons of residents to work in the private sector without having to transfer their residency, which will reflect positively on the labor market and on all categories of the Qatari society both citizens and residents, and meet Qatar’s national vision and development strategies.
He pointed out that the new proposal will reduce recruitment of marginal labor surplus than required by the labor market, reducing the costs of recruitment and housing expenses for the employer, take advantage of the their familiarity with the customs and traditions of the Qatari society, in addition to the possibility of utilizing their qualifications and competencies to work temporarily or permanently under internal employment contracts in private companies.
“This will also help to eliminate leisure time for this category, which is often exploited in unhelpful aspects,” he added.
Al Obaidli said among conditions for allowing family members to work in accordance with the current proposal will be a written approval by the head of the family and obtaining a work permit from the competent authority at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs after paying the required fees.
With regard to the issuance of temporary work visas to accommodate the need of the labor market in some professions and facilitate and diversify recruitment for employers and companies, Al Obaidli explained that the proposal has been studied with a view to creating a suitable environment for domestic and foreign investment; and there was also coordination between the concerned authorities in the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs and the relevant authorities, upon which it was agreed to put in place guidelines, conditions and requirements of this visa, and determine the duration and fees.
Al Obaidli said that the issuance of the proposed visa will only be considered by the competent authorities when the competent department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs confirms the existence of a (temporary) employment contract between the worker and the employer in accordance with what is needed in such cases, and in line with the provisions of the Labor Law No. 14 of the year 2004 and its amendments and the resolutions implementing it.
He pointed out that the contract will be reviewed and approved in a manner that does not contravene an offer of work submitted to the worker, as well as passing the necessary medical examination through the Qatar visa centers abroad, noting that in case of the absence of those centers in the country of the worker, the worker is required to take these procedures immediately on entering the country, in the same way as other categories of expatriate labor do according to the applicable procedures in this regard.
In turn, Assistant Director of Legal Affairs at MoI Lt. Col. Ahmed Abdullah Al Harami asserted that these proposals have been studied and completed and work is underway to develop a legal tool and legislative procedures to finalize it and then complete the procedures for their application.