* Ministry has provided all facilities for violators to correct their legal status
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has reiterated that the people concerned should make use of the grace period announced for violators of the provisions of Law No 21 for 2015, regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence.
The ministry has extended the deadline to March 31 in order to enable the maximum number of violators to make use of the grace period.
While addressing a press conference Wednesday, officers from the Search and Follow Up Department and Unified Services Department said the departments are keen to consider the interests of company owners and expatriate workers and there is a 50% reduction in the violation settlement amount.
MoI assures no legal action against beneficiaries of grace period
“The ministry has provided all facilities for the violators to correct their legal status while they are inside the country by transferring from one employer to another or by leaving the country on their own while exempting them from all consequences of legal responsibility,” said Captain Kamal Tahir al-Tayri from the Search and Follow Up Department.
Target groups of the Search and
Follow Up Department
* Expatriates who came to Qatar for work and stay in the country violating the residency law by not obtaining or not renewing the residence permit within the prescribed period and who have exceeded a period of 90 days from the validity date, and their employers haven’t filed an absconding complaint against them.
* Expatriates who came to Qatar for work and stay in the country violating the law and an absconding complaint (Leaving the work – Violation of the purpose) has been filed against them by the employers, but 30 days haven’t been completed from the date of filing the complaint.
* According to the procedure in the above two cases, the Search and Follow Up Department will ensure the departure of the violators after exempting them from all consequences of legal responsibility and they can return to Qatar on another visa.
* Family residence permit holders and visitors who have violated the period of stay.
* The expatriates who have violated the law and an absconding complaint (Leaving the work – Violation of the purpose) has been filed against them and more than 30 days have passed from the date of filing of the complaint.
* Expatriates whose residence permits have been cancelled and have passed 90 days from the date of cancellation.
The procedure in the above three cases, the Search and Follow Up Department will ensure the departure of the violators, while they can return to Qatar if they leave the country after accepting the legally recommended reconciliation.
In all cases, the deportation of the minors under the age of 18 will be without a ban to return to Qatar, regardless of their violation of the provisions of the law, and they are exempted from any legal consequences.
Captain Mohamed Ali al-Rashid from the Unified Services Department said the deadline was extended as part of MoI’s Guidelines for Taking Advantage of Grace Period.
He also called upon people whose status has not been legalised by changing the employer during the given period - due to a failure to obtain approval from the competent authority because of not meeting the required legal conditions - to contact the relevant authorities and complete their procedures in accordance with the provisions of the law as the purpose of their stay in the country has ended. This is in order to leave the country soon and take advantage of the facilities granted during this period before its expiry and return to the country according to the procedures and conditions established by law.
“The persons wishing to leave the country on their own during the grace period should adhere to the precautionary measures related to the travel policy of the destination country when leaving the country, as there were some problems related to vaccination and quarantine specified at the intended travel destination and also to follow the time limit of 10 days from the date of issuing the travel permit, set by the Search and Follow Up Department when completing the departure procedures,” he said.
Speaking on the features of the grace period, Capt al-Tayri said the current grace period is distinctive from the previous one as it gives an opportunity to violators to correct their legal status by allowing them to change the employer in accordance with the regulations recognised by the competent authority, and exempting 50% of the fines imposed on them. In addition, it exempts violating expatriates who wish to leave the country on their own from legal responsibility.
“The role of the Search and Follow Up Department is limited to ensuring the departure of the violating expatriates who wish to leave the country voluntarily, in a humane manner. It reflects the pioneering role of the State of Qatar in the field of human rights. The departure of violating expats is secured by exempting them from the fines incurred by them and without bearing any responsibility, and their transaction is completed as quickly and smoothly as possible without any delay,” he said.
The violating expatriates have to approach the main reception of the Search and Follow Up Department with his/her passport and an open ticket, and the staff concerned will verify the data and complete all necessary procedures. Upon completion, a travel permit is issued to the violating person and hands it over to him to go to the airport as per the schedule mentioned on the ticket as an ordinary passenger. “The whole procedure at our department will not be taking more than three minutes and we will receive the applicants from 1pm to 6pm from Sunday to Thursday,” he added.