Persian Gulf guest worker programs

Most advanced counties allow for immigrants to settle down, have families, and become citizens. This creates the gains and stresses of assimilation. No so with some Persian Gulf countries.

Qatar is extremely open to and dependent on migrant workers, who are roughly 94% of the workforce and 70% of its population. But these workers are severely restricted from settling.

In Qatar, restrictive employment contracts severely limit the ability of migrant workers to even visit their families back home. Well paid employees are allowed to sponsor dependents to join them. But there was almost no path for migrant workers or their offspring to become naturalized citizens. It’s only recently that the children of Qatari women with non-Qatari fathers were granted permanent residency status. Migrants are either for bidden from bringing spouses and children with them or discouraged from doing so.

From Reihan Salam, Melting Pot or Civil War?

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