3-year imprisonment for illegal visa trading, QR25000 fine for withholding passport

Doha: The Ministry of Interior has urged employers to hand over the passports to employees after completing the procedures for getting or renewing residence permit.

The Ministry said that “a fine up to QR25000 for employer’s failure to hand over the passport to the employee after completing the procedures for getting or renewing residence permit.”

This information was shared today by the Ministry in a webinar attended by more than 280 people from different communities. The webinar was about the grace period for those who are violating the provisions of Law No. 21/2015 that regulates the entry, exit and residence of expatriates.

The grace period is valid until December 31, 2021.
Speaking at the event, Captain Mohamed Ali Al Al Rashid from the Unified Services Department and Lt. Ahmed Abdullah Al Marri from the Search and Follow Up Department urged violators to benefit from the grace period and the 50 percent reduction in the settlement amount.

They also warned that “for illegal visa trading, the punishment is an imprisonment up to 3 years maximum and/or a fine up to QR50,000 for the first time and QR100,000 in case of repetition.”

Also “failure of the employer to proceed residence permit and renewal procedures within the specified period not exceeding 90 days from the expiry date, the punishment is up to QR10,000,” they added.

The Ministry of Interior has so far received more than 20,000 requests from workers after the grace period for correcting the status of expatriates was announced.