Almost all exit permit grievances cleared

 21 Sep 2017 - 7:54

Almost all exit permit grievances cleared

By Sidi Mohammed | The Peninsula

All the grievances of expatriates on ‘exit permits’ which reached the Exit Permit Grievances Committee have been solved in a way that satisfied both parties including employees and employers, said a senior official.

During emergency cases expatriates can get ‘exit permit ‘in 24 hours, said Head of the Exit Permit Grievances Committee Brig. Salim Saqr Al Muraikhi (pictured).

The committee looks into the grievances of expatriates on exit permits in case the employer does not allow them to leave the country.

“Since the beginning of this year, the committee has received some 2,958 exit permit cases and all cases were cleared except two cases. The most cases were received in May and July, said Al Muraikhi.

“The Ministry of Interior is keen to protect the rights of both workers and employers. The committee holds a minimum of two meetings per week and more meetings if needed. Sometimes it works during Eid holidays,” he said during the recent induction seminar on the functions of the exit permit grievances committee held at the officers’ club at the Civil Defence headquarters.

The seminar was attended by officers from Human Rights and Search and Follow Up Departments of the Ministry of Interior and officials from the National Human Rights Committee and Ministry of Labour, in addition to representatives of community organizations.

On the grievance appeal procedures and according to the article No. (7) of the law No (1/2017), an expatriate has the right to exit from the country for leave or for an emergency reason or any other reason after informing the recruiter as per labour contract.

He also has the right for final exit from the country before the expiry of the labor contract period after informing the recruiter based on the labour agreement. “No one can now prevent the employees to travel. There are some emergency cases when applicants have the documents and got exit permit in 24 hours and in some cases normal procedures which take three days,” Al Muraikhi said.

Al Muraikhi also said, “More than Ninety percent of people leave the country without any problems and less than 10 percent of expats complain to the committee about exit permits.” 

He said: “This is the first meeting with community members to listen to their suggestions and concerns and find solutions to them. It is also a chance to clarify doubts related to services of the participating departments in the seminar. Expats are not only employees; they are partners in building this country as H H the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al  Thani said in one of his speeches.” “The media sometimes not convey the real image of what we are doing, that is why we are keen to conduct such meeting with community members directly,” said Al Muraikhi.

He also denied rumours which that workers were banned from getting exit permit after the ongoing siege was imposed by three gulf countries.

“The expats are very cooperative and sympathize with Qatar and they are partners in building this country, not only employees,” he added.

The panel also launched an email of the exit permit grievances committee to receive all enquiries related to the committee’s work. The email is [email protected]

The committee may reject the application for exit permit for certain cases such as existence of any security restrictions on the expatriate in order to protect the security of the state and the society (like travel ban, criminal case under investigation).

Exit permit may also not be approved in case of judicial procedures at the courts of Qatar for safeguarding the rights of the recruiter or anybody else (if the case is criminal), and existence of any financial claims against the expatriate. However, under the guarantee of a sponsor, the expatriate can be granted an exit permit.

Another case when the exit permit may not be issued is if the expatriate didn’t hand over the properties in his custody received by virtue of the employment (like refusing to return the car of the recruiter or house that he received under the employment.)

The Ministry of Interior has set up a committee to look into the grievances of expatriates on exit permits.