Qatar updates visa sponsorship law

Expat women can now sponsor husbands, property owners to get five-year visas under new rule.
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 27 Feb 2009 10:08 AM

Qatar has issued a new sponsorship law that bars sponsors from keeping the passports or travel documents of their workers.

Expatriate women in independent employment in the Gulf state can now sponsor their husbands and children under the new regulation, it has been revealed.

The new law (No. 4 of 2009) regulating the entry, exit, residence and sponsorship of foreigners was ratified by the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and will be enforced with immediate effect, The Peninsula reported on Friday.

Qatari women married to foreigners will also be allowed to sponsor their husbands and children, the paper added.

The new law will also allow foreign workers who have quit or been dismissed from their jobs to return to Qatar for employment with another company but only after two years from the date of departure.

They can, however, be hired by another company provided their existing employer gives them a release and the authorities approve it.

A worker whose services have been terminated by a company on serious charges will have to wait four years before they can return to Qatar.

Foreign investors and those who buy property here will be issued residence visas along with their dependents provided they have good character and pass the health check-ups.

These visas will be issued for a period of five years which would be renewable once or several times for a similar period.

A sponsor is now legally bound, under the new law, to pay expenses if a worker dies and their legal heirs wish to transport the body back home.

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