Law No (4 ) of 2009 on expatriates’ entry, exit, residence and sponsorship regulations
June 09, 2010 - 11:17:53 pm
Foreigners who get a visa to enter this country have to get a sponsor who is a national employer.
Sponsors have the right to control foreigners’ entry into and exit from the country. They also have control over their legal and professional status.
Sponsored expatriates do not have the right to leave the country, either temporarily or for good, without taking a written permission from their sponsors.
Expatriates’ wives and other dependents, however, have no need for this permission, particularly if they do not stay more than 300 days.
Expatriates who do not get this permission for one reason or another have to present documents proving that they are not indicted in any criminal cases.
These documents can be attained from specialised courts 15 days after expatriates run ads in two daily newspapers, announcing their departure time in the light of the procedures announced by the Minister.
Sponsors have to meet the following conditions:
1. They must be Qatari nationals or expatriates who live in Qatar and abide by its laws. Sponsoring entities have to get their headquarters in Qatar.
2. They should demonstrate an ability to comply with the laws of Qatar and be committed to keeping their sponsored workers inside the country.
Sponsors are not supposed to pay extra money for the workers they sponsor.
The following are limitations to sponsorship:
1. Sponsorship is limited to employers only.
2. Expatriates are financially responsible for their dependents who live with them.
3. Visitors to the country need to get sponsorship from a Qatari citizen.
4. Male expatriates are financially responsible for their wives. Wives can also be financially responsible for their husbands in the light of the regulations set by the Minister.
5. Qatari women who have non-Qatari spouses can bring their spouses in after getting approval from the Authority Concerned.
Expatriates can get sponsorship from new sponsors or employers after getting written approval from their first sponsor.
The new sponsors are totally responsible for their newly-sponsored expatriates.
Sponsors are responsible for settling the old debts of their sponsored expatriates if they approve to do so in a written form. They should repay expatriates’ debts if these expatriates do not have the money necessary for doing this.
The following are sponsors’ responsibilities:
1. They have to send expatriates back to their home countries when their residence permits end, are cancelled, or in case these expatriates receive a deportation order. If expatriates refuse to leave the country, sponsors should tell the authorities concerned so that they can take the responsibility of deporting them. In any case, sponsors have to pay deportation fees.
2. Sponsors have to pay the cost of the funeral of their employees, and the cost of transferring their bodies back to their home countries should their families request this. The Ministry can ask expatriates to deposit a certain amount of money to that end.
Civil servants who sponsor expatriates and do not honour their financial responsibilities to these expatriates will have these financial responsibilities deducted from their salaries.
Residence sponsors have to write out the exit permit for their sponsored workers. This permit has to be signed after it includes the stamp of the authority concerned.
If the Exit Sponsor is not the same as the Residence Sponsor, the former has to write out the exit permit at the authority concerned.
According to article No 23 of the law, creditors do not have the right to launch legal procedures against sponsors to retain the money expatriates owe them before demanding this money from these expatriates first.
Sponsors’ approval is necessary if expatriates’ money will be used in repaying their debts. Sponsors have to inform the authority about money and property owned by expatriates.
Legal proceedings launched against sponsors to repay expatriates’ debts will not stop once an expropriation order is issued against these expatriates. The court must ensure that expatriates’ money and property is used in repaying their debts before turning to sponsors.
Sponsors can take legal responsibility for defending their expatriate workers, unless these workers are mentally-unsound at the time of signing the contract.
In case an amount of money is taken from expatriates to repay their debts, this amount of money must be dropped if sponsors agree to repay the remaining part of expatriates’ debts.
Sponsors do not have to pay any money if creditors decide to confiscate expatriates’ property to compensate for the unpaid debts the expatriates owe them.
Creditors have to present sponsors with documents, proving the latter’s payment of expatriates’ debts so that sponsors can recover this money from expatriates later. If expatriates have real estate properties, the ownership of these properties must be moved to sponsors so that they can compensate for the money they paid to settle expatriates’ debts.
If sponsors pay all or part of expatriates’ debts, they have the right to launch legal proceedings against these expatriates if they do not repay this money.
A sponsor’s sponsorship can be annulled if he/she fail to honour his/her original commitments to their sponsored expatriates.
Sponsors can be financially cleared in any of the following conditions: when expatriates are financially cleared from debts; when creditors commit mistakes, such as failing to take enough debt-repayment guarantees from expatriates; when creditors do not seek to retain their money from expatriates within 15 days after they receive a letter from sponsors telling them about the time expatriates will leave the country; and when creditors fail to take the necessary measures to retain their money from expatriates within 30 days after sponsors request them to do so. Sponsors have to make this request in a written form and creditors have to update them about the steps they take to retain their money from expatriates.