All You Need to Know About 'Sponsorship' Policies for Expats in Qatar
Al Meezan, Qatar's Legal Portal, is a reliable source that contributes in the dissemination of legislations and all legal information in the State of Qatar.
The portal has published the "Regulation of the Sponsorship of Expatriates" to provide legal information on your sponsorship as an expat in the country.
Read on to learn these policies.
• Each Expatriate granted an entry visa to the State of Qatar shall have a sponsor.
• Save for women sponsored by the head of the family, minors and visitors staying thirty days or less, all Expatriates may only leave the country temporarily or permanently on submission of an exit permit granted by the residence sponsor. (To check if you require an exit permit, read this article Who are exempted from exit permit to leave Qatar? How to check if you need this permit?
If such permit cannot be obtained due to the sponsor's refusal to grant, the sponsor's death, or his absence without assigning an agent to replace him, the Expatriate shall assign a departure sponsor, or present a certificate of no sentences being served or lawsuits from the court of jurisdiction after the lapse of fifteen days effective from the date of publishing once in two daily newspapers the expected date of the departure of the Expatriate pursuant to a Ministerial Decision in accordance with the procedures and regulations.
The residence sponsor, whether a natural or legal person, shall satisfy the following requirements:
1. to be a Qatari national or an Expatriate resident under the law, and if the sponsor is a legal person, it must have a main office located within the State of Qatar or operate a branch therein;
2. to be qualified to fulfill the responsibilities consequent on sponsorship imposed hereby, and to employ and supervise the Expatriate if he enters the country as an employee.
The residence sponsor or departure sponsor may not be liable to pay any sums of money nor be responsible for any obligations in excess of the debt owed by the sponsored Expatriate nor under terms and conditions more severe than those of the debt guaranteed.
Responsibility for sponsorship of the Expatriate shall be determined as follows:
1. The Expatriate shall only be sponsored by the employer;
2. The head of the family shall be the sponsor of family members resident with him in the State;
3. A visitor shall be sponsored by his host resident in the State of Qatar;
4. A woman shall be sponsored by the person supporting her with whom she has come to reside, even if she subsequently takes up employment, and a woman who enters the State of Qatar for employment purposes may bring her husband with her in accordance with the requirements determined by ministerial resolution; and
5. A Qatari woman married to a non-Qatari may, subject to the approval of the competent authority, introduce her husband and children under her own personal sponsorship.
The competent authority may transfer the sponsorship of an employee who is an Expatriate to another employer under a written agreement between the new and former employers and with the approval of the competent authority of the Ministry of Labour, taking account of the categories subject to the provisions of the Labour Law. Where sponsorship is transferred, the new sponsor shall replace the former sponsor as regards all obligations. The sponsorship of the former sponsor shall expire and he shall be held harmless with respect to the obligations resulting therefrom.
The residence sponsor shall be liable for any obligations due by his sponsored Expatriate if he is notified of such obligations and accepted thereof in writing and where the sponsored Expatriate owns no explicit property wherefrom such obligations can be fulfilled.
The residence sponsor shall:
1. Repatriate his sponsored Expatriate after the expiry or cancellation of his residence permit or when an order to repatriate him is issued. If the Expatriate refrains from departure in the aforementioned cases, the sponsor shall notify the competent authority to repatriate thereof along with paying the relevant expenses, and the sponsor shall not be obliged to pay the repatriation expenses of his sponsored Expatriate if the latter is not subject to the Labor law after the lapse of thirty days effective the date of reporting his escape. In all cases, whoever employs any Expatriate without sponsoring thereof in breach of the provisions hereof shall pay the repatriation expenses in addition to the prescribed penalty; and
2. Bear the expenses of preparing a deceased sponsored Expatriate employee for burial in the graveyards designated for this purpose within the State of Qatar irrespective of the cause of death. Should any heirs of the naturally deceased person or any other entity require the body to be moved outside the State, the sponsor shall bear the costs of transporting it to the deceased's country of origin or permanent residence. The Ministry may oblige the sponsor of an employee subject to Labour Law to submit a bank guarantee, the terms and conditions of which shall be determined by a resolution to be issued by the Minister in order to guarantee payment of any obligations towards the Ministry and the sponsored Expatriate.
If the sponsor is a civil servant and is in breach of his obligations towards the sponsored Expatriate, the Ministry may collect the repatriation expenses from the sponsor's salary and entitlements by arrangement with his employer.
What are the terms for departure permit of an expat?
The departure permit shall be signed by the residence sponsor or his agent before the competent authority and the signature of the sponsor or his agent shall be identical to the signature archived by the said authority and such signature shall be deemed legal by the competent notarizing authority. In the case that the departure sponsor is different from the residence sponsor, the former shall, for his sponsorship to be acceptable, sign the departure permit before the competent authority.
Subject to the provisions of Article 23 above, a creditor may only have sole recourse for his debt to the sponsor after having had recourse to the sponsored debtor, and may not collect his debt from the sponsor's property except after discussing the sponsored Expatriate, unless the sponsor is jointly liable with the sponsored debtor for the debt. In all cases, the sponsor shall adhere to his benefit of discussion and to the invalidity of collecting the debt from his property except after recourse to the sponsored debtor, otherwise he shall be deemed to have waived his right thereto.
To accept plea for the discussion of the sponsored debtor, the sponsor is required not to explicitly or implicitly waive thereof and not to be jointly liable with the sponsored debtor. The sponsor shall, at his own expense, guide the creditor to any property that may be owned by the sponsored debtor, provided such property is attachable, undisputed and exist within the State.
Plea for discussion during trial in the legal action of claiming the sponsor to pay the guaranteed debt shall not suspend proceeding therewith. Rather, the court shall consider the action and adjudicate in the merits thereof subject to stating in the pronouncement of its verdict the invalidity of collecting the debt by virtue of such verdict from the sponsor's property except after starting to collect thereof from the sponsored debtor's property if any and discussing him wherefrom.
The sponsor may adhere to all the defenses that may be invoked by the debtor. However, if the defense invoked by the sponsored debtor is his lack of capacity and the sponsor is aware thereof upon concluding the relevant contract, he may not invoke such a defense.
In all cases where the sponsor reports on the property of his sponsored debtor, the sponsor shall be held harmless pro rata the property collected by the creditor out of such property as well as pro rata what the creditor failed to collect out of such property due to his failure to pursue the necessary procedures within the appropriate time.
The sponsor shall be held harmless if the creditor accepts anything other than money in payment for the sponsored debtor's debt.
When the debt is paid, the creditor shall deliver to the sponsor the relevant documentation to enable him exercise his right of recourse to the original debtor, and if such debt is guaranteed against pledged or endowed movable property, the creditor shall waive his rights or transfer them to the sponsor. Where the debt is guaranteed against a real security, the creditor shall pursue the relevant procedures to transfer such security to the sponsor, shall bear the expenses involved therein, and may have recourse to the sponsored debtor in respect thereof
In case the sponsor paid the whole or part of the debt, he shall replace the creditor in respect of the obligation in question pro rata the amount he paid and may recourse therewith to the sponsored debtor.
Sponsorship shall expire by the abatement of the principal obligation for any reason of abatement whatsoever.
Subject to the provisions of the preceding Article, the sponsor shall not be liable in following cases:
1. where the debt of his indebted sponsored Expatriate is discharged;
2. to the extent that collateral or securities allocated for the payment of a debt are lost by a creditor through his own fault even if such collateral or securities were determined after sponsorship, and to the extent of the value of the lost security or collateral at the value of the amount he was indebted with;
3. if the creditor has failed to claim the debt from the sponsored debtor;
4. if the creditor has failed to claim the debt falling due from the sponsored debtor within fifteen days from the date the sponsor reports the date of departure of the Expatriate sponsored debtor and invites creditors to claim their debts, provided such report is published once in two daily newspapers, and the duration being calculated from the day following the date of publication.
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