Relief for migrant workers in Qatar, lifts exit visa system and made return easier

Photo courtesy: Twitter handle (@qatarairways)

The Qatar government has amended its controversial exit visa policy in what comes as a major relief to the lakhs of migrant working in the country. This new amendment allows foreign workers to leave the country without exit permits from their employers.

There are more than 1.6 million foreign workers in Qatar, most of whom are from Asia. A sizeable number of the workers are from India.

The official Qatar News Agency confirmed the adoption of Law No. 13, saying it amended “certain provisions” of previous laws regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates.

This comes as a relief because there have a number of cases when foreign workers in Qatar have complained of being harassed by their employers who refuse to issue them exit permits, despite the workers completing their contracts.

Qatar will be hosting the 2022 Football World Cup. It has been accused of exploiting workers coming from foreign countries. The amendment made on Tuesday is being seen as an effort to tackle these allegations. The world cup gives Qatar an opportunity to project itself as a progressive and developed country, thus necessitating the reforms.