In this article, we are going to discuss all the laws related to expatriate sponsorship regulation. We will discuss all the laws in detail for your knowledge and understanding. Let’s do it!
Qatar requires each expat granted an entry visa to have a sponsor. All expats may only leave the country temporarily or permanently after submitting a residence sponsor’s exit permit, except for women sponsored by the family head, minors, and visitors staying less than thirty days. A permit cannot be obtained due to the sponsor’s refusal to grant, his death, or his absence without assigning an agent. Expats must assign a departure sponsor or provide a certificate that no sentences have been served or lawsuits have been filed with the court of jurisdiction after the lapse of fifteen days from the date of publication in two daily newspapers of the expected date of departure.
A residence sponsor must meet the following requirements, whether natural or legal:
- Under the law, the sponsor must be a Qatari national or an expatriate resident, and if it is a legal entity, it must maintain a main office or branch in Qatar;
- If an expat is employed and supervised in the country, the sponsor must be qualified to fulfill the responsibilities imposed by this sponsorship.
A sponsor of the residence or departure may not owe any money to the sponsored expatriate, nor be responsible for any obligations beyond that of the debt guaranteed by the sponsor.
Sponsorship of the expatriate will be determined as follows:
- Expatriates shall only be sponsored by their employers;
- Family members living with him in the state shall be sponsored by the head of the family;
- Visitors shall be sponsored by their Qatari hosts;
- The person with whom a woman resides shall sponsor her, whether or not she has taken up employment, and a woman entering Qatar for employment purposes may bring her husband with her according to ministerial resolution; and
- The wife of a non-Qatari citizen may sponsor her husband and children, subject to the approval of the competent authority.
Under the provisions of the Labour Law, the competent authority of the Ministry of Labour may transfer sponsorship of an expatriate employee to another employer under a written agreement between the new and former employers.
When the residence sponsor has been notified of an expatriate’s obligations and agreed to them in writing, and when such obligations can be met from the sponsor’s explicit property, the sponsor is liable for those obligations.
A residence sponsor must:
- The sponsor should repatriate the sponsored expat when his or her residence permit expires or is revoked or when a repatriation order is issued. Expats who are employed without sponsorship must pay the repatriation expenses in addition to the prescribed penalty.
- In the State of Qatar, the Sponsorship Department will bear the expenses involved in preparing the deceased sponsored expatriate employee for burial in the appropriate graveyard. In the event any heirs of the naturally deceased person or any other entity request that the body is transported outside the State, the sponsor shall pay for transportation to the deceased’s country of origin or permanent residence.
It may be possible for the Ministry to take the repatriation expenses from the sponsor’s salary and entitlements if the sponsor is a civil servant and fails to meet his obligations towards the sponsored expatriate.
For the departure permit to be legal, the residence sponsor or his agent must sign it before the competent authority and it must be identical to the signature archived by the authority. The signature must also be deemed legal by the competent notary. If the departure sponsor is different from the residence sponsor, both must sign the departure permit before the competent authority for the sponsorship to be accepted.
Under Article 23 above, a creditor may only collect his debt from the sponsor if he has already collected it from the sponsored expatriate. Except for the case where the sponsor and the sponsored expatriate are jointly liable for the debt, a creditor may not collect from the sponsor’s property in its entirety.
As a condition of accepting a plea for discussion of a sponsored debtor, the sponsor must not explicitly or implicitly waive thereof and not be jointly liable with the sponsored debtor. Sponsors are responsible for guiding creditors to any property owned by sponsored debtors, provided such property is accessible, undisputed, and within the state.
A request for discussion during a trial in the legal action of requiring the sponsor to pay the guaranteed debt shall not stop the proceedings. Rather, the court shall consider the matter and adjudicate it on its merits, stating, in its verdict, the invalidity of collecting the debt from the sponsor’s property until after starting to collect it from the sponsored debtor’s property, if any, and discussing whether to do so.
The sponsor may use any defense that the debtor may invoke. Sponsors may not assert a defense such as lack of capacity if they are aware of the defendant’s incapacity when concluding a contract.
It is the sponsor’s responsibility to disclose the property of the sponsored debtor so that he or she can be held harmless for any property collected by the creditor from the property, as well as for any property not collected by the creditor from the property for failure to follow the necessary procedures on time.
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