Hopefully this positive change of laws in Qatar will influence the local authorities in Dubai:
The Peninsula On-line: Qatar's leading English DailyDOHA: Qatar yesterday issued a new sponsorship law that retains salient features of the previous legislation, which was enforced some 45 years ago.
The exit permit and sponsorship rules remain almost unchanged, but sponsors have been barred from keeping the passports or travel documents of their workers. Expatriate women in independent employment here can now sponsor their husbands and children and detailed regulations in this regard will be issued through a ministerial decree soon.
The new law (No. 4 of 2009) regulating the entry, exit, residence and sponsorship of foreigners was ratified by the Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and will be enforced with immediate effect.
Qatari women married to foreigners will be allowed to sponsor their husbands and children.
A foreign worker dismissed from his job or quitting on his own can come back to Qatar for employment with another company only after two years from the date of his departure. He can, however, be hired by another company provided his existing employer gives him a release and the authorities approve it.
A worker whose services have been terminated by a company on serious charges (as per Article 61 of the Labour Law) can return to Qatar to take a job with another firm only after four years.
Workers or their dependents holding residence permits, who wish to stay outside the country for more than six months, can do so provided they seek the approval of the authorities beforehand or after the expiry of the six-month period by paying a fee, if their residence permit is valid for 60 days.
Children born to expatriates outside Qatar can be brought here until they attain the age of two years and application for their residence permit should be submitted within 60 days of their arrival. Wives and children of foreign workers holding a valid residence permit and visitors staying here for up to 30 days do not require an exit permit to travel out of the country.
Workers whose sponsors refuse to issue them an exit permit, or if the sponsors are out of the country or have died, can seek a clearance certificate from a competent court certifying that they do not have a court ruling or a case against them and they would be allowed to travel out of the country without an exit permit.
The sponsor is legally bound, under the new law to pay for the last rites of a worker who dies here. The sponsor has to bear expenses if the latter’s legal heirs wish to transport the body to his home country.
Foreign investors and those who buy property here will be issued residence visas along with their dependents provided they have good character and pass the health check-ups.
These visas will be issued for a period of five years which would be renewable once or several times for a similar period. It is not a prerequisite that their dependents work here. Foreign investors and property owners who are deported for some reason are to be given at least 90 days’ time to settle their commitments here so they can leave the country for good. The law provides for jail terms and fines for violating its provisions.