New sponsorship law to take effect from mid-December

DOHA: A senior official from the Ministry of Interior has reiterated that the law regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates will come into effect from mid-December.

“The Ministry will hold a press conference to announce the details after the issuance of an executive regulation of the law ahead of its implementation,” said Captain Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhannadi from the General Directorate of Border Passport and Expatriate Affairs.

He was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘The services and facilities provided by the government to expatriate families in Qatar’.

The discussion was held under a roundtable conference entitled ‘Expatriates families in Qatar, opportunities and challenges’, organised by Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID).

The event was attended by senior government officials, experts in expatriate issues in Qatar and representatives from expatriate communities and religious complexes, Qatar News Agency reports.

The conference aimed to create a culture of dialogue to promote co-existence among communities in the country, said Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh Al Nuaimi, Chairman, DICID.

The conference meant to table the achievements of expatriate families, opportunities available for them and the problems they faced, said Dr Al Nuaimi. Some officials were invited to explain measures taken by the government to improve the situation of expatriate families and solve their problems, he added.

The panellists discussed in separation sessions the law regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates, demographic distribution of the population, and services like health, education and culture provided to the expatriates.

The population of Qatar in more than four and half decades increased about 23 times, reaching 2.52 million on March 31 this year, said Sultan Ali Al Kuwari, Deputy Chairman, the Permanent Population Committee at the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics.

The population grew at 31.1 percent in 2009 and recorded steep fall at 1.4 percent in 2011, then rose again at 10 percent in 2015 due to the influx of foreign workers for ongoing development projects, said Al Kuwari.

Qatar is committed to providing equal education opportunities for all as it supports all community and private schools, said Fawziya Al Khater, Director, Education Institute at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

The cost of textbooks and education resources in Independent school reached QR30,000 per student a year, the expatriate student paid QR150. Transportation charges are  QR8,000 and the student paid QR300, said Al Khater.

There are 191 Independent schools in Qatar that accommodates 108,000 students, including 58 percent Qatari and 42 percent expatriates.

There are also 162 private schools and 87 private KG accommodating 172,000 students. Qatari students in private schools are not more than 18 percent and expatriates are 82 percent.

The panellists also discussed job opportunities for the members of expatriates communities, rising house rents, limited free education for expatriate students and inflation, among others.

 

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