Qatar visas still issued to Filipinos despite ban

Philippines Embassy says Qatar still issuing visas to domestic workers, despite ban
By Francesca Astorri
Wed 13 Feb 2013 05:28 PM

Qatar residency visas are still being issued to domestic workers from the Philippines, despite an unofficial ban being imposed at the end of last year, Arabian Business Qatar found.

Around 20 visas were issued to Philippines citizens during January, the Philippines embassy in Doha said. According to the embassy's labour office, there is still a ban on visas being issued, but some agencies have been able to secure them.

The ban was imposed last year following a diplomatic tussle between Qatar and the Philippines. Since 2007, the Philippines has been requesting a minimum wage of US$400 a month for all of its nationals working abroad. In the Gulf, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have both agreed to these terms, but Qatar has so far refused.

Negotiations between Qatar and the Philippines started last year and are said to still be ongoing.

More than 200,000 Filipinos live and work in Qatar, of which 40,000 are domestic workers with an average salary of US$247 per month.

The Qatar Ministry of Interior was not available for comment.

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