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Transfer from Govt. project

I joined my current company in April 2010 on a project visa. I hold a university degree and have now completed more than 5 years with this firm.

My question is can I get a transfer? Does the new law apply equally to those who have completed more than 5 years or only to expatriates who came to country on project visas after the date when new law was implemented? Kindly clarify. And finally the main question again: Can I get a transfer or Not?

Name withheld
Answer:We have answered similar questions a number of times but people remain in doubt about the ground realities because there have been a number of statements on the issue plus the fact that there are “socalled experts” who give the wrong advice on some websites.

There has been a lot of confusion and useless talk (from people who know nothing of the immigration laws) on the issue because transfers of government project visas are very restricted these days but this doesn’t mean that you can transfer to another sponsor. But before you jump to conclusions and think that we have given you the green signal on the issue, read the following: As recently as in March — after issuing a similar verdict on Jan 11 this year — Manpower Public Authority Director Jamal Al- Dousary issued an administrative decision allowing expatriates working on government projects to transfer visa from one sponsor to another. But this is where the clarification comes in.

Workers in similar situations were in the past only allowed to transfer their visas to different companies but under the sponsorship of the same employer after the completion of their contracts. But now the new decision clarifies that laborers contracted locally from the private sector or transferring from dependant visas can transfer to other sponsors according to the previous conditions, which are:

1. conclusion of the project’s tenure

2. working for at least one year for the first sponsor 3. getting the sponsor’s approval for transferring. So, this makes it very clear that if you were contract from abroad for this government project then you can’t transfer to another sponsor (your length of service no longer makes any difference) but if you transferred to this project locally from another sponsor / company then your transfer is allowed.

From your letter it seems that you were hired from abroad and not locally which makes your transfer to another company almost impossible unless there is a change in the rules.

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