The first overseas Qatar Visa Centre (QVC) will be launched in Sri Lanka today as part of a series of such centres to be opened in eight countries in the first stage. The initiative is aimed at simplifying the procedures for recruiting expatriates and preserving the rights of all parties involved in the recruitment process, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a statement yesterday.
The project is overseen by the Recruitment Support Services Department at the General Directorate of Passports, in collaboration with an assigned company that will act a service provider to collect the fingerprints and vital data of expatriate workers, conduct their medical examinations and complete the signing of contracts for work.
A number of government officials will attend the inauguration ceremony from Qatar and Sri Lanka, as well as members of the Qatari embassy and media representatives in Colombo, according to the MoI statement. This and the other QVCs will enable government, private and recruitment enterprises in the country to complete the process of bringing expatriates for work from abroad through a single channel, in order to speed up all procedures.
According to earlier reports, QVCs will be opened in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines in the first stage. The services to be provided by the Sri Lanka QVC and other centres, to be opened later, include fingerprinting of the expatriate worker, registration of biometric data, medical examinations and the signing of the work contract. The centres will ensure that these procedures are simplified in order to document the employment contract in the worker’s country and avoid cases of workers returning to their country due to their incapacity to work. The new system will also enable expatriates to start work immediately after entering Qatar, the statement adds.
The centre in Sri Lanka, along with the others, will allow both the recruiter and expatriate worker to play their respective roles accurately through an integrated recruitment system.
The role of the employer is to register the worker through the MoI website. The ministry will assess the registration process and the employer will then pay the service costs through the MoI website. This will followed by the approval and extraction of the reference number.
The role of the worker is to go to the QVC in his/her country, register his/her entry, receive the contract of employment and sign it, then go for fingerprinting and registration of vital data as well as the medical examinations in order to reach the stage of final approval and issuance of visa. These procedures will take maximum of one hour and the results of the tests will be known after 48 hours.
The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It will be implemented in several phases and new services will be added in the future.
The MoI is seeking to expand the scope of the project in order to make it mandatory for any visa applicant to conduct the medical examinations, record fingerprints and conduct all other tests before entering the country.
The authorities have called on all companies operating in the country and providing Sri Lankan manpower to learn more about the new recruitment mechanism through the MoI website and Metrash2 service.
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