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QATAR FINANCIAL CENTRE
REGULATION NO. 11 OF 2006
QFC IMMIGRATION REGULATIONS
These regulations are hereby enacted pursuant to Article 9 of Law No. (7) of 2005
Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari
Minister of Commerce and Industry of the State of Qatar
Ali Sharif Al-Emadi
Minister of Finance of the State of Qatar
Issued at: The Qatar Financial Centre, Doha
On: 18th July 2019
Corresponding to: 15 Dhu Al-Qidah 1440 HIJRI
Part 1: Part 1: Application, Commencement and Interpretation
Article 1 - Citation
These Regulations may be referred to as the Immigration Regulations.
Article 2 - Application(1) These Regulations are made by the
Ministerpursuant to Article 9 of the QFC Law and the version enacted on 20 December 2006 received the consent of the Council of Ministers. Amongst other things these Regulations govern the entry into and sponsorship within the Stateof Qatar of employees of QFC Authority, the Regulatory Authority, Appeals Body, Tribunal, other QFC Institutionsand QFC Entitiesand their Family Members.(2) Pursuant to Article 18(4) of the QFC Law, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any other law or regulation of the State, the QFC Authorityshall have power to issue all visas, permits and other documents relating to or required for the employment in or doing business with or in, the QFCand such visas, permits and other documents shall be fully valid and accepted by all Stateauthorities.(3) Consistent with Article 2(2), the laws, rules and regulations of the Stateconcerning the matters dealt with by or under these Regulations shall not apply to the extent they are inconsistent with a provision of these Regulations or any rule or policy or order issued thereunder. Amended (as from 12th May 2016)
Article 3 - Commencement
These Regulations shall come into force from the date of their signature by the
Minister. Amended (as from 18th July 2019)
Article 4 - Language
In accordance with Article 9 of the QFC Law, these Regulations are written in the English language and the text thereof shall be the official original text. Any translation thereof into another language shall not be authoritative and in the event of any discrepancy between the English text of these Regulations and any other version, the English text shall prevail.
Article 5 - Interpretation
Words and expressions used in these Regulations and interpretative provisions applying to these Regulations are set out in Part 6.
Part 2: Part 2: The QFC Immigration Office
Article 6 - Establishment of the Immigration Office(1) The Immigration Office shall be established by the
QFC Authoritypursuant to Article 6 of the QFC Law.(2) The Immigration Office shall administer these Regulations and all aspects of the entry into and sponsorship within the Stateof QFC Employeesand Family Members.(3) The Immigration Office shall be managed by the QFCImmigration Officer who shall determine its procedures and management.(4) The Immigration Office shall be subject to the supervision of the QFC Authoritywhich shall have the power and function to:(A) ensure that the Immigration Office exercises its statutory powers and performs its statutory functions;(B) review the performance of the Immigration Office and the use of its resources; and(C) give the Immigration Office written directions as to the furtherance of any of its objectives or the performance of its functions.(5) The QFC Authoritymay make rules to the extent set out in the QFC Law, these Regulations and any other Regulations conferring powers, duties or functions on the QFC Authorityas it deems necessary or appropriate to enable it, the Immigration Office and the Immigration Officer to implement, carry out or enforce their duties, functions and powers under the QFC Law, these Regulations and any other Regulations. These rules shall address among other things, any disqualifications standards for entry into or residence in the State.(6) The General Directorate of Border Passport & Expatriate Affairs of the Ministry of Interior, Labour Department of the Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and Housing, the CID, and all other relevant Stateauthorities shall cooperate with the QFCImmigration Office and provide all necessary assistance to achieve the objectives of these Regulations, including locating their employees in the QFCImmigration Office as and when necessary.
Article 7 - Role and function of the Immigration Office
The Immigration Office shall have the following functions:(1) to receive and process all applications for visas, sponsorship and residence permits for
QFC Employeesand Family Members;(2) to assess the eligibility of applicants pursuant to rules, policies or orders developed by the QFC Authorityand to ensure the timely issuance of all visas and residence permits;(3) to maintain relations with all Stateauthorities involved in matters addressed in these Regulations, to coordinate with such authorities in the implementation of these Regulations and any rules, policies or orders issued thereunder, to provide such authorities with any documents or material to which they have a right under these Regulations and any applicable laws, rules or regulations of the State, and to represent the QFCin dealings with such authorities;(4) to keep and maintain in such form as it shall determine a register in respect of each QFC Employeeand Family Memberin respect of the visas issued, sponsorships and residence permits, to record in such register all documents and information which fall to be filed with or delivered to the Immigration Office in respect of such QFC Employeesand Family Members, including any applications which have been denied; and(5) all other functions provided for in these Regulations considered by it to be necessary, desirable or appropriate to achieve, further or assist in relation to any of the above. Amended (as from 18th July 2019)
Part 3: Part 3: Entry and Sponsorship of QFC Employees
Article 8 - Entry of foreigners into the State(1) No foreigner shall enter the
Stateor depart from it unless the foreigner holds a valid passport issued by the competent authorities of the foreigner's country or any other competent authority, or unless the foreigner holds a document that may be substituted for the passport issued by one of the authorities mentioned in this Article. The Ministry of Interior shall, by a resolution, define the documents which may be substituted for the passport.(2) The passport or substitute document must be stamped with an entry visa by the competent authority.(3) A foreigner may only enter or leave the Statefrom the places specified by a decision of the Ministry of Interiorand after having the foreigner's passport or substitute document stamped by the competent supervising officer.(4) QFC Employeesand Family Membersshall present their passport or alternative document to the Immigration Office, the General Directorate of Border Passport & Expatriate Affairs of the Ministry of Interior, the CID, Statepolice authorities or any other appropriate Stateauthority upon request. In the event of the loss of a passport or alternative document they shall notify the Immigration Office immediately.(5) Every QFC Employeeand Family Memberwishing to reside in the Statemust:(A) obtain a residence permit from the Immigration Office; and(B) leave the Stateupon the expiry of their residence permit unless they have previously obtained an extension from the Immigration Office.
Article 9 - Sponsorship of QFC Employees(1) Subject to the provisions of these Regulations,
QFC Employeesmust be sponsored in the Stateby their Employer.(2) Employers may not employ persons in violation of these Regulations or any rules, policies or orders issued thereunder. Amended (as from 12th May 2016)
Article 10 - Application for approval to bring a QFC Employee into the State(1) Any Employer that wishes to bring a
QFC Employeeto the Statemust provide the Immigration Office with:(A) the QFC Employee'sname;(B) the position of the QFC Employee; and(C) a copy of the QFC Employee'spassport.(2) The Immigration Office shall make the necessary arrangements for the issuance of the visa for the QFC Employeeand any Family Membersand shall inform the Employer when the visa is available for collection.(3) Absent any disqualifying information, the Immigration Office will make best efforts to have the visa issued within two (2) working days of the date the Employer provides the information in this Article.
Article 11 - Residence permit(1) Within five (5) working days of the arrival of the
QFC Employeein the Statethe Employer shall apply to the Immigration Office for a Stateresidence permit for the QFC Employeeusing the application form provided by the Immigration Office. The documents required in support of such an application shall be those identified for this purpose by the Immigration Office.(2) The QFC Employeeshall complete a medical examination at a hospital designated by the Immigration Office and must have his fingerprints taken at the Immigration Office on the date and at the time specified by the Immigration Office.(3) Absent any disqualifying information, the residence permit shall be issued within five (5) working days of the date of the completion of the matters specified in Article 11(2) and in no event shall it extend past ten (10) working days of the filing of the application, provided the QFC Employeehas provided all necessary information and completed all necessary procedures.(4) The Immigration Office shall notify the Employer when the residence permit has been issued to its QFC Employee. The duration of the residence permit will be for three (3) years provided that his passport remains valid during that period.(5) The Employer shall apply to the Immigration Office to renew an expired residence permit on behalf of a QFC Employee.
Article 12 - Exit visa
QFC Employeedoes not require an exit visa to leave the State. Amended (as from 18th July 2019)
Article 13 - Sponsorship of Family Members(1)
Family Membersof QFC Employeesmust be sponsored in the Stateby the QFC Employeein order to reside in the State.(2) In order to sponsor a Family Memberthe QFC Employeemust file the documents identified for this purpose by the Immigration Office.(3) A partner of a QFC Employeewho subsequently obtains work in the QFCshall remain under the sponsorship of the partner.(4) A partner of a QFC Employeewho subsequently obtains work in the Stateoutside the QFCshall be subject to the laws, rules and regulations of the Stateregarding entry, sponsorship and residence.
Article 14 - Residence permits for Family Member(1) Within five (5) working days of the arrival of a
Family Memberin the Statethe QFC Employeeshall apply to the Immigration Office for a Stateresidence permit for the Family Memberin accordance with Article 11 (Residence permit) and using the application form provided by the Immigration Office. The documents required in support of such an application are those identified for this purpose by the Immigration Office.(2) Family Membersmust complete a medical examination at a hospital designated by the Immigration Office and must have their fingerprints taken at the Immigration Office on the date and at the time specified by the Immigration Office.(3) Absent any disqualifying information, a residence permit shall be issued for the Family Memberwithin five (5) working days of the date of the completion of the matters specified in Article 11(2) and in no event shall it extend past ten (10) working days of the filing of the application, provided the Family Memberhas provided all necessary information and completed all necessary procedures.(4) The Immigration Office will notify the QFC Employeewhen the residence permit has been issued. The period of the Family Member'sresidence shall be coextensive with the duration of the QFC Employee'sresidence permit provided that the Family Member'spassport remains valid throughout that period, and shall terminate when the QFC Employee's permit terminates.(5) An Employer or QFC Employeemay apply to the Immigration Office to renew an expired residence permit for a Family Member.
Article 15 - Exit visas for Family Members
Family Memberssponsored by a QFC Employeedo not require exit visas to leave the State.
Article 16 - Transfer of sponsorship(1) Upon application, the Immigration Office shall assist in the transfer of the sponsorship of a
QFC Employeefrom one QFC Employerto another QFC Employer. The transfer of sponsorship from one QFC Employerto another QFC Employer, or from a QFC Employerto a new employer in the State, shall not require the consent of, or any release by, the current Employer of the QFC Employee.(2) Upon application, the Immigration Office shall assist:(A) QFC Employeeswho wish to have their sponsorship transferred to a new employer in the Stateoutside the QFC; and(B) Sponsored Employeesin the Stateseeking to become QFC Employees,in their dealings with the Ministry of Interiorto obtain a change of sponsorship under these Regulations and the laws, rules and regulations of the State.(3) The QFCImmigration Office may accept the transfer of sponsorship of a Sponsored Employeeto an Employer if:(A) the Sponsored Employeehas notified his State Sponsorof his wish to transfer his sponsorship(B) the State Sponsorhas:(i) consented to the transfer of sponsorship;(ii) refused to consent to the transfer of sponsorship and has not provided a valid reason for the refusal; or(iii) failed to respond to the Sponsored Employee'srequest to transfer his sponsorship within thirty (30) working days of receipt of such request;(C) the Sponsored Employeewho accepts an offer of employment from an Employer is not violating the terms of that Employee's current employment contract with the State Sponsor; and(D) the relevant office of the Ministry of Interiorhas approved the transfer.(4) The Immigration Office may request information from the State Sponsorin relation to any matter identified in Article 16(3) above.(5) The Sponsored Employeeshall be liable for any violation of these Regulations in connection with the transfer of his sponsorship to an Employer.(6) QFC Employeesshall not work for any other employer in the Stateoutside the QFCwithout complying with these Regulations and the applicable laws, rules and regulations of the State.(7) An Employer may apply to the Immigration Office to second his QFC Employeesto another Employer for a duration not exceeding twelve months or to permit QFC Employeesto work for another Employer outside their usual working hours.(8) An Employer may apply to the Immigration Office for assistance in obtaining the permission of the Ministry of Interioreither:(A) to second his QFC Employeesto an employer in the Statefor a duration not exceeding twelve (12) months,(B) to receive seconded employees from an employer in the Statefor a period not exceeding twelve (12) months; or(C) to permit a QFC Employeeof an Employer to work for another employer in the Stateoutside his usual working hours.
Article 17 - Change of address
QFC Employeemust inform the Immigration Office within five (5) working days of any change of address.
Article 18 - Visit and business visas(1) Any Employer that wishes to apply for a business visit visa for a business contact or member of staff employed outside the
Statein circumstances where:(A) the visit will extend past the period for which Staterequirements on entry into the State generally apply; and/or(B) the business contact or staff holds a passport from a jurisdiction that has no visa waiver program with the State,shall file the documents identified for this purpose by the Immigration Office.(2) Any visa issued under this Article shall not extend past three (3) months although an Employer may file an extension for a further period of up to three (3) months.(3) The Immigration Office shall make the necessary arrangements for the issuance of the visa and shall inform the Employer when the visa is available for collection.(4) Absent any disqualifying information, the Immigration Office will make best efforts to have the visa issued within two (2) working days of the date the Employer provides the information in this Article.(5) The provisions of this Article shall also apply to any QFC Employeewho wishes to obtain a visa for a family member who is not sponsored by the QFC Employeefor a visit to the State.
Article 19 - Fees
A table of fees payable for services provided by the Immigration Office shall be published.
Part 4: Part 4: Sponsorship
Article 20 - Provisions relating to sponsored QFC Employees(1) Except as required by these Regulations and subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, the
QFC Employee, and any Family Member who is sponsored by the QFC Employee, shall leave the Statewithin ninety (90) days from (A) the date of termination of the employment for which he was granted the entry visa or residence permit; or (B) the date on which such entry visa or residence permit expires, if earlier.(2) Paragraph (1) of this Article shall apply to the extent the QFC Employeein question is sponsored by a QFC Employer. Amended (as from 12th May 2016)
Article 20A - Transitional Provisions Relating to Article 20(1) Article 20 (as amended by QFC Immigration Regulations Version 2) shall not apply to any
QFC Employee, and any Family Memberwho is sponsored by such QFC Employee, where the QFC Employee's employment has been terminated, or the QFC Employeehas received or given notice of termination of his employment, at any time prior to the coming into force of Article 20 (as amended by QFC Immigration Regulations Version 2).(2) The provisions of Article 20 of QFC Immigration Regulations Version 1 enacted on 20 December 2006 shall continue to apply to the QFC Employee, and any Family Memberwho is sponsored by such QFC Employee, where the QFC Employee's employment has been terminated, or the QFC Employeehas received or given notice of termination of his employment at any time prior to the coming into force of Article 20 (as amended by QFC Immigration Regulations Version 2). Inserted (as from 12th May 2016)
Article 21 - Obligations of Employer(1) The obligations of the Employer are:(A) if the
QFC Employeefails to leave the Stateas required by these Regulations or any applicable laws, rules or regulations of the State, to cooperate with the Immigration Office and relevant Stateauthorities as may be required;(B) to cooperate fully with the Immigration Office and relevant StateAuthorities in connection with any criminal or security proceeding involving the QFC Employee; and(C) to bear the expenses of preparing and burying the body of his deceased QFC Employeein the cemeteries designated for that purpose in the State, or, at the request of a legitimate heir of the deceased or any other party, to transport the body to the native country or permanent place of residence of the deceased QFC Employee, whatever the reason of death might be.(2) Except as provided in any QFCRegulation enacted under the QFC Lawor unless expressly consented to in writing by the Employer, no Employer shall be liable for any civil obligation or civil liability incurred by its Employees or their Family Membersin the State.
Article 22 - Deportation of QFC Employees(1) The
Ministry of Interiormay issue a resolution for deporting any QFC Employeeor Family Memberwhose residence proves threatening to the security of the Stateand public safety, whether domestically or abroad, to its economy, public health or accepted standards of behaviour or if he constitutes a cost to the State.(2) Consistent with Article 18(1) of the QFC Law, any final deportation decision issued by the Statecriminal courts shall be executed in accordance with Statelaws, rules and regulations.
Part 5: Part 5: General Provisions
Article 23 - Penalties
The Immigration Office may impose fines in accordance with rules to be provided by QFCA for contraventions of these Regulations, provided however, that no such fine may be issued in respect of a matter which is the subject of a fine or penalty under the law, rules or regulations of the
Article 24 - Appeals
A person directly affected by a determination, decision or fine of the Immigration Office may appeal the determination, decision or fine to such court, tribunal or other juridical body established under the
QFC Lawand empowered to hear matters arising under these Regulations. In such a case, the person must first exhaust any procedures made available by the QFC Authorityto review the decision of the Immigration Office.
Part 6: Part 6: Interpretations and Definitions
Article 25 - Interpretation(1) In these Regulations, a reference to:(A) a provision of any law or regulation includes a reference to that provision as amended or re-enacted from time to time;(B) an obligation to publish or cause to be published a particular document shall, unless expressly provided otherwise in these Regulations, include publishing or causing to be published in printed or electronic form;(C) a calendar year shall mean a year of the Gregorian calendar;(D) a month shall mean a month of the Gregorian calendar;(E) the masculine gender includes the feminine and the neuter;(F) writing includes any form of representing or reproducing words in a legible form;(G) references to a person includes any natural or legal person, body corporate or body unincorporated, including a branch, company, partnership, unincorporated association, government or state.(2) The headings in these Regulations shall not affect their interpretation(3) A reference in these Regulations to a Part or Article by number only, and without further identification, is a reference to a Part or Article of that number in these Regulations.(4) A reference in these Regulations to an Article or a Part using the short form description of such Article or Part in parenthesis are for convenience only and the short form description shall not affect the construction of the Article or Part to which it relates.(5) A reference in an Article or other division of these Regulations to a paragraph, sub-paragraph or Article by number or letter only, and without further identification, is a reference to a paragraph, sub-paragraph or Article of that number or letter contained in the Article or other division of these Regulations in which that reference occurs.(6) Any reference in these Regulations to "include", "including", "in particular", "for example", "such as" or similar expressions shall be considered as being by way of illustration or emphasis only and are not to be constructed so as to limit the generality of any words preceding them.
Article 26 - Definitions
In these Regulations, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings shown against each of them, unless the contrary intention appears:
Employment Regulations the Regulations enacted by the Ministerrelating to employment in the QFC Family Member(s) the female partner of a male QFC Employeeor a male partner of a female QFC Employeeand minor children of a QFC Employeewho are sponsored by that QFC Employee QFC Employee a non-Qatari employee of an Employer Minister the Minister of Economy and Commerce of the State Ministry of Interior the Ministry of Interiorof the State Person includes a natural or judicial person, body corporate, or body unincorporate, including a branch, a company, partnership, unincorporated association or other undertaking, government or state. QFC the Qatar Financial Centre QFC Authority the Qatar Financial Centre Authority established pursuant to Article 3 of the QFC Law QFC Employer the QFC Authority, the Regulatory Authority, the Appeals Body, the Tribunal or any other QFC Entityor a QFC Institutionwhich employs one or more employees QFC Entity any company, branch or partnership established in or licensed to do business in the QFC QFC Institution the Companies Registration Office or any other institution or body created under Article 6 or Article 9 of the QFC Law QFC Law Law No. (7) of 2005 of the State Regulatory Authority the Regulatory Authorityof the QFCestablished by Article 8 of the QFC Law Sponsored Employee an employee who is not of Qatari nationality and who is not sponsored in the Stateby a member of his family and is therefore sponsored in the Stateby his employer State the Stateof Qatar State Sponsor The Personin the Statesponsoring a Sponsored Employee