Articles 17 – 20

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Abuse of vulnerability Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment Immigration status

Articles 17 to 20 establish a number of requirements for the recruitment of migrant workers.

Article 17 lists the parties responsible for the expatriat during his or her residence in Qatar. In the case of workers / employees this responsibility lies solely with the employer.  In the case of dependants, the head of the family is responsible. The head of the family may continue to be responsible for women after they find employment within Qatar.

Article 19 lists the responsibilities of the recruiter. These include notifying the competent authority within 14 days of the expatriate leaving his employment or refusing to leave the country after cancellation or expiry of his residence permit; bearing the expenses of the expatriate’s return to his country of origin; as well as the expense of burying the body of the expatriate or transporting it to his family in case of death.

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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.