Qatar abolishes exit permits for expats

All workers can now leave the country without prior approvals

Qatar abolishes exit permits for expats

There’s great news for all expat workers in Qatar who weren’t covered by the 2018 reforms to the labour laws.

Effective immediately, all exit permits have been abolished for workers, meaning they're now free to leave Qatar either temporarily or permanently.

The International Labour Organization Project Office in Qatar has confirmed this is an important step in local labour reforms.

Previously, reforms had been announced where expat workers under the Qatar labour law could leave the country without an exit permit, however, the employer had the power to restrict five percent of his workforce from getting this benefit due to the nature of his work.

The new amendment includes domestic workers (subject to law number 15 of 2017), ministries, government entities and public institutions (excluding members of the Qatar Armed Forces), oil and gas companies, maritime companies, agricultural companies and those doing all other types of temporary work.

Domestic workers need to inform their employers of their departure at least 72 hours prior.

On flouting this rule, the worker will have a four-year ban and will not be allowed to work for any other employer during that period. Additionally, the worker will be denied other financial benefits such as end of service and return tickets.

Certain employers such as the Ministry of Interior still have the right to identify five percent of the workforce that need prior approval. They will need valid reasons to do so.

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