Qatar has now removed exit visa requirements for an additional segment of its labour force from foreign countries including some of those who are working on the oil and gas industry on March 20. Back in 2018, Qatar had eliminated exit visas for many migrant workers from foreign countries, however, those reforms were not applicable to domestic workers, government and public institution staff, the oil and gas sector, as well as the workers employed at sea and in agriculture.
The Gulf state, which currently hopes that the World Cup in 2022 will pump its economy and the development is reportedly now eager to showcase that its system is getting more advanced and offers protection to all expatriate workers. According to the official tweet by interior ministry quoting spokesperson Lolwah Alkhater, the recent decision of the removal of exit visa requirements “is applicable to employees of the ministries, public bodies, institutions and other government agencies, oil and gas sector and its subsidiaries, marine vessels in the waters of the State of Qatar, agriculture and irrigation and private office”.
According to international reports, the decision which has been implemented since March 19 excludes "5% of the employees in these sectors, who will continue to submit an application with their employers to obtain an exit permit.”
The relaxation on restrictions on migrant workers came just days after Qatar barred entry to the air passengers except for its citizens. In the wake of the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus, the Gulf government also announced a stimulus of $23 billion to help the monetary impact of the pandemic. The country is also the worst affected country in the Gulf Cooperation with 460 COVID-19 infections. Even though it has not reported any fatalities, the government has closed universities, schools, gyms, and cinemas, along with the cancellation of many other public events.