Fair recruitment

Benefits of new Qatar Visa Center discussed at roundtable

A dialogue on the new Qatar Visa Center happened in the Philippines to ensure that it will benefit jobseekers and promote fair recruitment through transparent procedures and digitally signed contracts.

Press release | Manila, Philippines | 02 October 2019
MANILA - The establishment of a Qatar Visa Center (QVC) in the Philippines and the benefits it will bring to jobseekers were discussed at a roundtable meeting held in Manila.

The Qatar Visa Center is part of a broader commitment of the State of Qatar to ensure fair recruitment and to protect Overseas Filipino Workers in Qatar. (Photo by ILO/I. Rigon)
Bringing together representatives from trade unions, civil society and the recruitment industry, the event saw an exchange of insights on how the QVC can effectively serve those planning to migrate to Qatar. Participants also highlighted the need to create awareness amongst those looking for work overseas of the new office and the services it provides.
ILO Director Khalid Hassan highlights the need for a human centred agenda for migration and the future of work. (Photo by ILO/I. Rigon)
“We are given the opportunity to learn more about this innovative initiative and to discuss the implementation of the Qatar Visa Center based on stakeholders’ insights that put premium on international labour standards and core human rights instruments,” ILO Country Director Khalid Hassan emphasized.

The QVC was officially inaugurated on 25 September 2019 at the NU Mall of Asia Building, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, Philippines. Its goal is to make recruitment and deployment procedures more transparent for both prospective migrant workers and employers in Qatar.

QVCs help facilitate procedures for migrant workers by allowing applicants in all sectors to digitally sign work contracts before travelling, enrol their biometric data and undergo mandatory medical testing before departure, without having to repeat the tests upon arrival in Qatar. Upon completion of the process, visa applicants are able to track the status of the application online. All the required services of the QVC are free of charge for migrant workers and directly paid by employers in Qatar through bank transfer.

Importantly, QVCs also help reduce contract deception at the recruitment phase and provide workers with detailed information about their rights and obligations, including what living and working in Qatar will be like. Workers can now read their exact contract terms before migrating; giving them greater autonomy to reconsider migrating, if the terms do not correspond to their expectations.

“Developing the QVC system went through a long, consultative process. The different ministries of the State of Qatar coordinated with the Philippine government, thru its Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Doha. The QVC system has also benefitted from the feedback of various stakeholders in different pilot countries and from the assistance of the ILO,” Department of Immigration Director Mohammed Abdulla Khalifa Al Mohannadi of the Ministry of Interior said during the discussion.

The ILO is providing technical advice on the development of the Qatar Visa Centers through its Project Office for the State of Qatar, and support to the dissemination of the QVC procedures among trade unions and civil society organizations in the Philippines through its FAIR programme.
Prospective migrant workers and employers in Qatar join the dialogue with key officials and partners to promote fair recruitment. (Photo by ILO/I. Rigon)
Taking part in the roundtable discussion held in Pasay City, were representatives of the Qatar Ministry of Interior, the Qatar Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment-International Labor Affairs Bureau, the Federation of Free Workers, the Center of United and Progressive Workers, Building and Wood Workers International, Staffhouse International, Center for Migrant Advocacy, Blas Ople Center and the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch.

In the last Survey on Overseas Filipinos released by the Philippine Statistics Authority in April 2019, Qatar remains one of the top ten destination countries with more than 130,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) currently working there.

For further information please contact:

Hussein Macarambon
National Project Coordinator
ILO Fair Project - Manila

Steve Needham
Communications Officer
ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar - Doha