With just 30 days (from Wednesday) to go before the grace period ends, the Ministry of Interior’s Search and Follow Up Department and Unified Services Department have urged all those who have violated the provisions of Law No (21) of the year 2015, to correct their status as soon as possible and should not rush the last minute.
From October 10, 2021 when the grace period began until now, about 8,227 have applied for amnesty at The Search and Follow Up Department and have left the country.
In addition, 28,476 applications have been made at the Unified Services Department and out of them more than 6,000 have been regularised. So, more than 14,000 people have benefited from the amnesty offer.
Speaking to the media persons and community leaders at the Search and Follow Up Department headquarters, Captain Kamal Tahir Al Tairi from the Search and Follow Up Department and Captain Muhammed Ali Al Rashid from the Unified Services Department urged those who have violated this law to take advantage of the Grace Period and no one would arrest them if they showed up for this purpose.
They said MoI will provide all facilities for the beneficiaries of the grace period to correct their legal status while they are inside the country and also for leaving the country to correct their status, if they cannot correct it while they are inside the country.
The opportunity for correcting the legal status of the violators allows them to change the employer in accordance with the regulations recognized for the competent authority, and exempting them from the fines imposed on them.
The grace period also exempts violating expatriates who wish to leave the country from legal responsibility without holding them accountable for the violations.
Capt. Muhammed Ali Al Rashid explained that those who wish to correct their status while inside the country by transferring from one employer to the other can approach five MoI Service Centers such as Umm Sulal, Umm Sunaim, Musaimeer, Al Wakra and Al Rayyan.
At the same time, 12 MoI service centres such as Al Shamal, Al Khor, Al Dhaen, Umm Salal, Pearl Qatar, Onaiza, Souq Waqif, Rayyan, Umm Sunaim, Shahaniya, Mesaimeer and Wakrah for settlement, issuance and renewal of residence permit under the existing employer.
Captain Muhammed Ali Al Rashid said that the Service Centres are open from Sunday to Thursday from 1pm to 6pm.
For his part, Captain Kamal Tahir Al Tairi urged the violators to approach the department soonest to avoid delays in their transactions for there may be some restrictions imposed against them without their knowledge that may prevent their travel.
By doing this they will be able to settle and leave without hindrance within the prescribed period. He urged families with children under the age of 18 years to take advantage of the Grace Period since the children can leave without any ban.
Capt. Kamal Tahir Al Tairi said that those who decide to leave the country should leave within the 10 days after travel permit has been issued.
He, however, said that the travel permit is issued corresponding with the date mentioned on the air ticket.
He added that those who are interested to leave the country should also adhere to COVID-19 precautionary measures related to the travel policy of the destination country when leaving such as vaccination and quarantine.
The first phase of the grace period was from October 10, 2021 to December 31 2021, and later on, it was extended to March 31 2022, for the violators to benefit from the 50 percent reduction in the settlement amount of violations by the company owners as well as the expatriate workers.