Work visa rules get a revision in new Qatari law; No changes in family visa norms

  13 Apr 2017 – 22:30

Work visa rules get a revision in new Qatari law; No changes in family visa norms

File photo of Immigration Department office at Gharafa (Photo courtesy: alexmontjohn.com)

By Mohammed Osman / The Peninsula

The procedures for recruiting workers from abroad have changed under Law No 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates, a senior official of the Ministry of Interior has said.
However, there is no change in the rules for obtaining family visas and residency permits for spouses and children. The conditions for private sector employees seeking a family visa include a minimum monthly salary of QR 7,000 to QR 10,000.
Employers need to get approval for work visas from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), before applying at the Ministry of Interior, explained Brigadier Nasser Jabr Al Atiyyah, Assistant Director of the General Directorate of Passports, in an interview with police magazine Shurta Maak.
The employers can get visa approval from the MADLSA without names and when they sign the job contract with the worker they need to present a copy of the passport, the job contract as well as the MADLSA approval to get the entry visa for the worker.
According to the previous law, employers could be granted 100 visas to bring workers as they bring copies of their passports to the Directorate of Passport and Expatriate Affairs at the Ministry of Interior to get entry visas and process their residency permits.
The official said rules for obtaining family visa remain unchanged in the new residency law and the procedures are simple. There is a special committee which considers family visa applications and takes a decision within three working days. The applicant will receive a text message on their mobile phone informing whether the application was approved or rejected.
An applicant working in the private sector seeking a family visa needs to provide a certified marriage document, along with salary certificate and bank statement for six months.
Only salary certificate is required for government employees,.
For private sector employees seeking a family visa, the minimum monthly salary must be in the QR7000-QR10,000 range and should have a suitable profession. The same conditions apply to women who have a Qatari residency permit and willing to bring their husbands.
Families with residency permit can apply for RP for a newborn within 90 days after birth and the child will be allowed to enter the country within six months from the date of birth if he/she was born abroad, said Al Atiyyah.

Conditions for parents visa similar to family visa

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Conditions for residency visa for parents are similar to family visas but the applicant must confirm that he/she is the sole breadwinner of the parents and his/her profession must suit the specific categories.
“Our aim is to make the procedures and conditions easier for expatriates to bring their families and if some conditions need to be changed or reviewed we will do it in a way not contradicting the provisions of the law regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates,” said Al Attiyah. The job contract not only regulates the relation between the employer and the employee but it is also is the basis for entry and residency permit in the new law, he added.
The new law allows expatriate workers to work with other employers or do extra work with other employers in their extra time with a permission from the original employer. “Strict actions will be taken against employers violating the law,” said Al Attiyah.

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