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JustHere | December 6, 2016

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Residents irked by unemployed expat youth on ‘free visas’; But… there is no ‘free’ visa

Residents irked by unemployed expat youth on ‘free visas’;  But… there is no ‘free’ visa

A number of residents appear to be miffed with group of ‘unemployed’ expatriate youth who are creating nuisance in neighborhoods, according to a report published The Peninsula. It refers to comments made by callers during a discussion on this issue, on a popular radio programme.  ‘Good Morning, My Beloved Qatar!’ on Qatar Radio is a call-in show. “There is a group of African youth living in our neighbourhood. They don’t have jobs. They don’t sleep the whole night and create nuisance,” one caller is quoted.

However, the myth of ‘free visa’ doesn’t help in setting right the already marginalised image of migrant workers.

JustHere columnist Aakash Jayaprakash had explored the “free visa” system, explaining that this scheme lures people into buying a visa by promising them a sponsor-free work environment.  He writes: “This unlawful practice states that people are free to work where they want, as long as they pay a certain amount to the person securing them the visa. There are also countless others who are brought or come to Qatar under ‘free visas’ and end up selling perfume, driving private taxis, or working in construction of towers in the West Bay.”

The ‘visa trade’ is a growing menace in the country, resulting in a pool of stranded unemployed expatriates, usually from poorer countries. The cost of visas for some nationalities can go upto QR40,000, while that for some African countries is $10,000, according to this news report.

[Photo courtesy: Raoud Altoun]

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