What You Need to Know About MoI's Department that Monitors Illegal Workers and Companies in Qatar

What You Need to Know About MoI's Department that Monitors Illegal Workers and Companies in Qatar By Darlene Regis - July 14, 2021

Follow Up Department (SFD) in Qatar

Have you heard about the Search and Follow Up Department (SFD) in Qatar? What are the services it offers to the citizens and residents? How important is its role to society?

Securing the departure of persons who are getting deported, receiving individuals wishing to travel and who voluntarily surrendered, as well as monitoring expatriates who violate the specified periods of stay in the country, are just some of the services provided by SFD.

Apart from implementing the ‘Law of entry, exit and residence of expatriates’ in the country, SFD works to reduce the run-away and illegal workers and ensures they leave the country if it is required so by the relevant authorities after they have received their full legal rights. 

The Department continues to carry out an extensive drive to capture illegal workers in the country. It has blacklisted companies and individuals  who have been arrested for violating Qatar Residence Law.

The violating employers will be banned from bringing in any workers on their sponsorship. According to the local authority, the drive will continue until this phenomenon is eliminated.

Awareness Webinar

In an effort to raise awareness on public safety and security, the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), conducts regular virtual conferences participated by community members and leaders.

Just recently, the Ministry has organized an awareness webinar on "Search and Follow Up Department & its Services for the Public."

Keep on scrolling to know more about the duties and responsibilities of the department, as discussed by 1st Lt. Ahmed Abdullah Salem Ghurab Al Marri, SFD Officer of the Follow Up and Technical Office, who is the speaker of the said online seminar, held last July 7, 2021.

About the Search and Follow Up Department

The Search and Follow Up Department is one of the specialized departments under the General Directorate of Passports and Expatriates Affairs at the MoI, which is the competent department responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit, and residence of the expatriates.

To deport violators of the laws from this country as it is required by the law for organizing expatriates and their residence in Qatar, SFD provides a centre for keeping persons who have been sentenced for deportation in custody while their final procedures are still pending.

Functions and Competencies of the Department

SFD follows up those who violate the above-mentioned provisions of the Law, the decisions governing the entry and exit of the expats, the rules of their residence and sponsorship and taking necessary actions on their matters. Here are its other functions and competencies:

• Follows up violators of the law for organizing expatriates and their residence and other procedures related to cases and complaints on similar matters.

• Conducts conciliation on crimes of organizing expatriates and their residence and executing sentences of deportation and cancellation of residence permit in coordination with other related security departments.

• Organizes inspection campaigns with the aim to enforce the law for organizing expatriates and their residence in coordination with other security departments.

• Takes persons on whom the judicial sentences of deportation are issued in to custody and ensuring their departure according to the orders of related agencies in the country in order to complete procedures related to their deportation.

• Follows up by changing the status of labors who are certainly abused by sponsors and finalizing procedures to change sponsorship.

• Follows up of changing the status of persons whose Qatari nationality is withdrawn or those without nationality.

• Issues provisional residence cards

• Prepares studies on runaway and absconded workers

• Makes companies and establishments aware of not employing runaway and absconded workers or lodging or veiling any absconded or illegal labour.

Services Provided for the Public

The service is provided within the limits of the powers granted to the department. Those include:

1. Recording reports of leaving work, violation of purpose of the visa, and disclaimer.

2. Receiving complaints and transactions related to the functions of the department.

3. Receiving requests from personas who violate Law (21) of 2015 (men and women) who wish to travel and who surrender themselves voluntarily, and then taking all necessary measures for that.

Service Ports

1. External Lounge Section

2. Electronic Services (Metrash 2)

3. Directly by the relevant section at the Department

SFD Metrash 2 Services

MOI has added a number of services to become online services via Metrash 2 mobile app, among which are:

• Search and Follow-up Department (SFD) reports

• Coast guard services

• Reporting lost objects

• Delegate services for processing transactions of companies

• Police clearance certificate

• Address queries

• Security permits

The Ministry has urged all its customers to use Metrash 2 mobile app to get their services and transactions done, in an attempt to save time and efforts, and implement the precautionary measures announced by the State of Qatar to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Department's Sections

1. Departure Section - It secures the departure of persons against whom deportation rulings or orders are issued to ensure their departure, receives persons wishing to travel and are referred from the office for voluntarily surrendered persons and secures the departure of patients referred from the medical commission.

2. Follow-up Section - It monitors expatriates who violate the specified periods of stay in the country, whether those with entry visas of all kinds or residents who have not renewed their residency on time, and then takes the necessary measures against them. This section is also entitled to listing companies and business owners who violate the ban lists of all kinds.

3. Cases Follow-up Section - It presents the above-mentioned violators according to Law No. (21) of 2015 regulating the entry, exit, and residency of expatriates, to the Residence Affairs Prosecution to take action against them, follows up the cases with the Residence Affairs Prosecution and implement the prosecution's decisions regarding preventive detention and release, as well as takes reconciliation measures for violations of Law No. (21 of 2015 regulating entry, exit, and residency of expatriates.

4. Search and Investigation Section - It carries out search and investigation and collects information and inferences about the above-mentioned violators, based on the data previously sent to them from the aforementioned sections, as the Section arrests them and transfers them to the sections that requested their arrest and bringing them. If their procedures are completed in advance, they are transferred to the departure section to secure their departure.

5. Detention Section - This section also searches and investigates crimes of trafficking in visas and refers the perpetrators to the Residence Affairs Prosecution. It also conducts inspection campaigns on commercial establishments, offices and others to arrest violators of the Law regulating the entry and exit of expatriates. Its tasks include conducting raids on runaway workers and other wanted persons, according to the legal procedures followed.

6. External Lounge Section - Receiving and detention of persons who have been sentenced to deportation from the country or a deportation order from the competent authorities in the country, in preparation for taking the necessary measures in their regard.

Like that, detention of persons who are undergoing procedures in the prosecution and the court of residence affairs until their final decision is issued. This is in addition to the detention of persons violating the Law of the entry and residence of expatriates in the State.

Services Office

SFD’s services office aims to expedite the completion of the procedures at the Department in the shortest time through its integrated staff counters. This is part of the MoI’s efforts to save time and effort of the visitors.

The average number of visitors received by the Office per day is 450. 


The office has a large area that can accommodate more than 150 visitors and with 20 service counters and 2 entrances. This gives the visitors convenience of easy entry and exit and helps in smooth flow of transactions.

With the latest electronic and technical systems, it will ensure accuracy and take less time to complete the transactions. The facilities are as follows:

• Convenient reception areas and counters

• ATM area

• Awareness screens

• Parking area that can accommodate more than 200 cars

The Office also has five counters for officers to:

• facilitate easy approval of the applications of the visitors

• receive their inquiries

• listen to their grievances

• solve the problems they face to complete the procedures.

The services office has a highly qualified staff of officers and other ranks with an integrated counter staff system so that the staff in charge performs all the transactions needed by the visitors without the need to move to other employees or counters or service halls. 

The office facilities will shorten a lot of time and effort as the issues will be handled with utmost attention and seriousness.

Working Hours

SFD’s Services Office works in 2 shifts. It will receive applications for various services provided by the department. 

Morning Shift: 7 AM to 12 Noon

Evening Shift: 1 PM to 5 PM (Surrenders' Office)

Visiting the Services Office

The visitor of the department can go to the counter to complete all the procedures from the same counter without having to go to another employee or counter.

In the case of any violations or fine against the visitor, payment can be made directly through the automatic payment machine that is placed in the new office.

Contact Details

Telephone Number: 2346333

Fax Number: 44602287

E-mail Address: safd@moi.gov.qa


For the office location map, click here

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By Darlene Regis - July 14, 2021
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