Article 26

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Abuse of vulnerability Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment Immigration status

According to Article 26 of the new law, if a foreign worker is dismissed on disciplinary grounds, and does not appeal against his dismissal before the competent court, or his appeal is rejected by the court, the foreign worker will not be allowed to return to work in Qatar within four years of the date of his departure.

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Law / 27 October 2015 / Qatar / Law No. 21 of 2015 on the Regulation of the Entry and Exit of Expatriates

Law No. 21 of 2015 on the Regulation of the Entry and Exit of Expatriates amended Law No. 4 of 2009 (the Sponsorship or Kafala Law) and made a number of changes to the Kafala or sponsorship system in Qatar. This law will enter into force 1 year after its publication, on the 27th of October 2016.

This law sets out the conditions for the entry and exit of expatriates into / out of  the State of Qatar (Articles 2-7); for the residence of expatriates (Articles 8-16); regulates the recruitment of foreign workers (Articles 17-20); establishes the requirements for changing employers (Articles 21-23);  the conditions for the deportation and repatriation of foreign workers (Articles 24-28); and the penalties for the violation of certain provisions of the law (Articles 38-41).

The main reforms include the establishment of a new system to appeal refused exit permits before the Ministry of Interior if the sponsor objects to the worker’s exit. Under this law the employer continues to play a significant role in regulating the departure of employees. Under Law No. 21 of 2015, instead of directly requesting the sponsor for approval, foreign workers who wish to leave the country must inform the Ministry of Interior at least three business days before their exit. The Ministry would then wait for the sponsor’s approval or objection before permitting the exit.

With regards to the no-objection certificate, Law No. 4 of 2009  states that expats could not return to work in Qatar for two years after their contract ended unless they had their sponsor’s approval. With this new law, upon completion of fixed contracts, foreign workers will not have to leave the country and will no longer need their sponsor’s approval before taking up another job. Previously, workers had to wait two years in order to return to Qatar to work again, if their employer refused to grant a no objection certificate to change jobs.

For the purpose of this law, an expatriate is any non-Qatari person entering the State for the purpose of work, residence, visit, or any other purpose. A recruiter is any entity, employer, head of family, or host, who recruits an expatriate or to whom responsibility for the expatriate’s residence is transferred in accordance with the provisions of the law.