According to Law No. 21 of 2015 on the Entry, Exit and Residency of Foreign Nationals that came into force on December 13, 2016, migrant workers who have completed the stipulated tenure with their current employers are eligible for change of jobs.
Expatriates seeking to change jobs in Qatar can be recruited by only those companies that have the visa for the same nationality, gender and profession as that of the candidate.
But according to clarifications issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), the change can be effected only if a proper vacancy is available. For example, a “Filipino male accountant” who wants to leave his current employer and join another firm can be hired only by a company that has the approval for employing a “Filipino male accountant”.
These and other conditions and regulations for changing employers and leaving the country are specified in a notice issued by the MADLSA on its website.
The regulations are meant for private-sector jobs in the country, the notice states.
Those who are on fixed-term contracts and want to join a new firm should submit a notice of 30 days (before the contract comes to an end), according to the MADLSA.
If an employment contract is open-ended, a worker should stay in the job for a minimum five years to be eligible for a change. In such cases, the notice period to be served will be 30 days if the duration of service is five years and 60 days if the duration is more than five years.
The MADLSA further states that the new employer should not have any restrictions on recruitment, such as a hiring ban imposed by the authorities concerned for previous violations.
If arbitration or reconciliation is required, the person concerned should attach relevant documents to prove that the case merits such intervention.
All applications and approvals are subject to terms and conditions announced by the ministry.
The MADLSA, meanwhile, stressed that the age of the person looking for a new employer should be less than 60 years.
The ministry also plans to stop the renewal of employment contracts of expatriate workers aged 60 and above. The decision stipulates the exit of the expatriate worker after reaching the age of 60 years and accordingly, his residence permit would not be renewed.
According to a report in Arabic daily Al Watan, such employees would have to exit the country for good after receiving all their dues. “The step aims at opening up the door for recruiting young talents who could serve the development plans of the country ,” the report said, noting that the MADLSA is set to enforce the decision in both the private and the public sectors.
Job change support
Expatriates who encounter problems or technical issues while trying to change over to a new job can contact the technical support section at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs at E-notice@ADLSA.gov.qa or Phone: 40288888.[GulfTi