Your passport should be kept with you at all times. It is illegal for your employer to keep your passport. Expats working abroad, you should be aware of the law that you are not obliged to surrender your passport to your boss/company. If you give your passport for ‘safekeeping’, it has to be in mutual agreement. Otherwise, it is not allowed.
Passports are government issued documents where it’s also used for identification purposes by the owner. This is also used as an ID for traveling to foreign countries.That’s why it is necessary for an owner to keep this legal document for themselves.
Employers Should Not Keep Passports of their Employees – Qatar Law
OFWs usually travel to Qatar and look for a long-term job. Most of these expatriates are not aware of how the law works or some are not familiar with how the system is set in place.
Most employers here in Qatar ask for their employee’s passport for safekeeping, they say that it’s normal for the boss to ask for their worker’s passport. It serves as an assurance for them to make sure that they hire someone who does not leave the country without their permission.
Some expatriates do not comply with this kind of terms, it’s just too important for them to surrender their passport because they need it for travelling purposes. Worry not, because it is a violation of Qatar law to keep the passports of employees.
“The Law 4/2009 regulates the entry, exit and residency of the country’s foreign workers (expatriates) and it gives adequate protection to the foreigners and guarantees their right to keep passports in their possession,” legal activist and Migrant Asia regional co-ordinator Nizar Kochery.
“Violation of the law could amount to a penalty of not less than QR10,000 to the sponsor or his representative for every passports that he keeps in his illegal custody,” said the consultant, adding Article 52 of Law 4/2009 has provisions for imposing fine on sponsors for the violations pertaining to the employees’ passports.
We could understand why employers from Qatar would ask for a passport because there are OFWs who go back to the Philippines even the though contract is not yet completed. This will depend on the contract between employer and employee, it will be a mutual agreement between both parties if the passport is to be surrendered, keep in mind that you are not obliged as what the law says.
Other News Sources:
Gulf-Times – http://m.gulf-times.com/story/337500/Keeping-employees-passports-in-custody-is-violatio