As announced by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani earlier this month, the new “Law No. 13 of 2018” regulating the exit, entry and residency permit has taken effect on October 28th, 2018.

The new law, which is an amendment of “Law No. 21 of 2015” states that expatriates under the labor law will no longer require a leave notification/exit permit to leave the country as long as their work contract is valid.

The key features to note about the new law is that the employer still has the right to enlist the names of sponsored employees whose nature of work requires them to obtain pre-approval before leaving the country, on the condition that the number of such workers does not exceed 5% of the total number of employees. The remaining 95% of employees, therefore, will not require a leave notification i.e. company approval, to exit the country.

What we know about the implementation so far:

Although the implementation has taken effect just last week, we have learned the following points:

  • The employer can now enlist the 5% selected individuals that would still require a leave notification to exit the country, on MADLSA website by submitting their names, QID, and mobile numbers.
  • Once submitted, the selected names of the 5% can only be amended or removed after a minimum period of 3 months.
  • It is not mandatory for a company to select up to 5% of their sponsored employees to be enlisted. The company has full discretion to select the names, if any, of the employees that require a leave notification, as long as those names do not exceed 5% of the total employee numbers. *
  • *Should the company have less than 20 sponsored employees, the company is still permitted to select up to 1 individual who requires a leave notification.
  • For those employees that are listed within the 5%, it is still possible for the employer to issue a leave notification/exit permit with a duration up to 12 months.

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. However, should you have any initial questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.