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Qatar announces major reforms for expatriate workers
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Qatar announces major reforms for expatriate workers

Satyendra Pathak
In a major step to support expatriate communities living in Qatar, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) jointly held a press conference to propose three landmark changes in some laws regulating expatriate workers and labour market on Wednesday.
The press conference was attended by Director General of Passports Mohammad Ahmed Al-Ateeq, Assistant Undersecretary of Labour at MDLSA Hasan al Obaidly and Assistant Director of Legal Affairs Department Ahmed Abdullah al Haremi.
The three proposals to be implemented soon include permission for sons of expatriates to work without changing their sponsorship, temporary work visas for up to 6 months and 20 percent reduction in the fees for online transactions of all services provided by MoI.
Speaking on the occasion, Ateeq said that the proposal to allow sons of expatriate residents to work in the private sector without changing their sponsorship was being studied and finally, it has been decided to take legislative measures to implement it given its advantages.
As per the current system, only daughters are allowed to work without changing sponsorship. As per the new proposal, all members of the family will be allowed to work without changing their family sponsorship.
Citing that the new proposal will bring positive results in labour market and benefit Qatari citizens and residents alike to take advantage of this untapped workforce, Obaidly said, “The new proposal will reduce recruitment of marginal labour surplus required by the labour market, costs of recruitment and housing expenses for the employer. Employers can take advantage of their familiarity with the customs and traditions of the Qatari society.”
In order to simplify MoI services and encourage the public to take advantage of electronic services, a proposal to reduce the fee for electronic transactions were studied and a 20 percent reduction for all online transactions was agreed upon.
Harami said the proposals that have been studied need amendments in related legislative tools governing these categories.
He added that work is underway to prepare and amend the legislation and submit it to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to complete its legislative procedures.
During the press conference, DG of Passports announced the proposal to introduce a new temporary work visa system for some professions and jobs in order to accommodate the need of the labour market and create a suitable environment for domestic and foreign investment.
These visas will be granted to private companies, commercial establishments and other licensed entities in the country to perform emergency, temporary or seasonal work that requires the workforce for a specific period, season or occasion.
As per the proposal, these visas will be issued by MoI after the approval by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, while all required procedures will be carried out through Qatar Visa Centres abroad or when such workers arrive in the country.
Temporary work visas valid for one month will be charged QR 300 and for two months QR 500. Visas valid from 3 to 6 months will be charged 200 for each month, the MoI official said.
Meanwhile, expatriate business communities in Qatar have welcomed the proposals. Terming the proposals as historic, Indian Business and Professionals Council (IBPC) President Azim Abbas said, “This is the most awaited good news from the Government of Qatar for expatriates. We welcome the proposals. Allowing sons of expatriates to work in Qatar without changing sponsorship is a big relief for many parents.” 
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