Changing jobs is now easier for expats in Qatar

Author: PM editorial | Date: 8 Feb 2017

Foreign residents over 60 years old may also apply for work

The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) has made changes to the law concerning expatriates who want to change jobs within the country, loosening the strict regulations.
The process should now be simpler and widen the range of jobs expats can apply for. Before the change, the law stated that expats could only be recruited by organisations that held a visa for the same nationality, gender and profession as that of the candidate. This has now been relaxed.
And the good news continues for expats aged over 60, who were not allowed to apply for jobs until now. The law previously stated that foreign residents over 60 were not ‘eligible’ for jobs in Qatar.
In addition to the legislative changes, Qatar’s government approved Law No. 21 of 2015 on the entry, exit, and residence of expatriates. Doha News published an English translation of the newly approved law.
A worker who wants to move to a new employer still has to notify their current employer through the link on the ministry's website, which also has a section to notify the government if they intend to leave the country.
There had previously been plans for the Ministry of the Interior to set up an automated system to grant leave certificates for expats, but in December officials said this was no longer happening.
Employers are in charge of exit permits for if an employee needs to leave Qatar for any reason but a new grievance committee has been set up for any complaints from expats whose employers do not grant the permits.
Last year, the government attempted to crack down on the illegal practice of employers confiscating workers’ passports by imposing a fine of QAR 50,000 per passport on any organisation found guilty of doing so.