Close to 2,000 Filipinos who are undocumented residents in Qatar can be repatriated without any legal consequences as the country’s three-month amnesty ends on December 1.
Consul General Roussel Reyes of the Philippine Embassy in Doha in a DZMM radio interview said the amnesty covers overstaying foreigners, workers who ran away from employers and those with expired passports.
Without the amnesty on offer, such immigration violations face huge fines or jail terms for absconding. But until the grace period ends, offenders can return to their own countries just by presenting their passport, ID card or entry visa into Qatar and air ticket home at the Search and Follow Up Department.
Reyes noted that it is important for those who wish to avail of the amnesty to present their plane ticket or sufficient cash to purchase one, as Qatar officials typically release exit visas within the same day of application.
“Ang requirement po sa pag-avail ng amnesty, dapat po pagpunta sa Immigration, may confirmed ticket na po sila. Kasi within the same day po, issue na po nila ang exit visa. Hinihingi po nilang may ticket na para makaalis kaagad iyung worker,” he said.
The Philippine Embassy has so far assisted 237 Filipinos in securing travel document necessary for repatriation.
Without disclosing how many illegal residents are among Qatar’s 1.8 million migrant workers, officials say most of those who will take advantage of the amnesty come from Asia, including Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines.