Exit permits consigned to history for almost all migrant workers in Qatar

New legislation enters into force removing the exit permit for workers not covered by earlier changes

Press release | 16 January 2020
DOHA (ILO News) – Almost all migrant workers in Qatar are now able to leave the country without first obtaining permission from their employers following the introduction of new rules announced today.

In October 2018, changes made to laws regulating the entry and exit of expatriates removed the need for the majority of workers in private companies in Qatar to obtain an exit permit to leave the country either temporarily or permanently.

On 16 January 2020, a Ministerial Decree came into force, removing exit permit requirements for workers not covered by the 2018 changes namely: domestic workers; workers in government and public institutions; workers employed in the oil and gas sector and workers employed at sea and in agriculture.

“The ILO warmly welcomes these changes which will benefit many migrant workers in Qatar. The removal of exit permits is an important milestone in the government’s labour reform agenda,” said Houtan Homayounpour, the Head of the ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar.

Exit permit requirements remain in place for members of the armed forces as well as a limited number of workers in key posts in companies. 

For more information, please contact Steve Needham, Communications Officer, ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar at Mob +97450069011 or at needham@ilo.org