Men sitting alongside the walls of a meeting room.
  Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Atiq, Assistant Director General of the Department of Border, Passport and Expatriates Affairs, and Saleh Al Shawi, Director of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, addressing the press conference at the Ministry. Photo: Qassim Rahmatullah

Qatar’s new sponsorship system

10 November, 2015

”The new law regulating entry, exit and residency of expatriates in Qatar has transformed the Kafala (sponsorship) system in the country into one controlled by employment contracts, a senior official of the Ministry of Interior has said.”

Note that the ability to change employers without permission is at the end of a contract period. The new law will come into force at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017. At that point, if a new contract is issued with the “suggested” maximum of 5 years (or if it is ‘open-ended’), it will be 2022 (World Cup) before an employee can change jobs without permission of their employer.

Even if it is not called an ‘exit visa’, exiting the country will still require permission – from the employer, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. So key components of the Kafala system are actually maintained for the foreseeable future, i.e. at least until after the World Cup.

Difficult to believe that this is a coincidence.

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