Work Permits and Visas for Overseas Workers in Qatar

With the ever-growing economy in Qatar, it has become one of the most desired destinations for entrepreneurs, companies, and investors. The State of Qatar is strict with allowing overseas workers into the country. So, visas and work permits in Qatar are a must if you’re looking to work here.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about visas and work permits in Qatar. If your company is looking to expand operations, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the immigration process. Here we will help you navigate through the questions you may have regarding this challenging procedure.

  1. Do I need to have permits and visas to work in Qatar?
  2. What do I need to apply for work permits in Qatar?
  3. How to get a Qatar work visa?
  4. What are the types of work visas in Qatar?
  5. How much do Work Permits and Visas cost in Qatar?
  6. How can EOR Middle East help you?

1. Do I need to have permits and visas to work in Qatar?

In recent years, the country has become one of the top destinations for foreign workers. So, a legal process had to be put in place to maintain order within the working area. According to the law, to live and work in Qatar, you’ll need to have residence and work permits.

Every newcomer wanting to work and live in the country Qatar requires a Work Residence Permit. Accordingly, work permits in Qatar are given by an employer that serves as a sponsor. Usually, they must handle the paperwork on behalf of the worker. A work visa must be filed within seven days upon the entrance of the employee.

Researches show that 94 different nationalities reside in Qatar, being Egypt the most common, alongside India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The most sought out jobs are located inside the chemical, gas, and oil sectors. Most foreigners find work in the country from within their own companies, or through international recruiting agencies. 

2. What do I need to apply for work permits in Qatar?

To work here, you’ll need to have correspondent work permits in Qatar. If you’re looking to work in the country for a long period, you must obtain a job permit (known as a Work Residence Permit or RP). To acquire it, the person must have a legitimate job offer in the State of Qatar.

Initially, upon arrival, you’ll need to obtain the Non-Objection Certificate (NOC). This credential will be stamped in your passport and will be valid for six months. Once you secure a job, your employer needs to start the process of obtaining your work permits in Qatar. You’ll need to complete this process within the first three months of your stay.

To learn about Oman Immigration permits, go here.

Once you have a job offer, your employer is responsible for your application process. Therefore, the employing company takes over as your agent for the length of your stay in the country. This is known as the Kafala Sponsorship System. The following are the requirements needed to obtain work permits in Qatar.

2.1 Firstly, before an application for the permit is submitted, a medical check-up is required.

Meaning that a blood test, chest x-ray, and other tests like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are required. These tests must be done at a government-approved hospital. The requirements are:

  • A passport.
  • Employment visa.
  • Four passport-sized photos.
  • A fee of QR 100.

2.2 Secondly, a week after your medical examination, you’ll need to have your fingerprints taken.

Once the medical results and the fingerprints are ready, your employer will submit them. Also, they’ll need:

  • Your passport.
  • Certificate of good conduct.
  • Latest educational documentation. 

Nonetheless, it’s important to have into consideration that until your Work Residence Permit is approved, you can’t leave the country. If you do so before you’ve been given your residency card, you’ll need to start the procedure from the beginning. The work permit in Qatar process takes up to six weeks to complete.

3. How to get a Qatar Work Visa?

It’s important to realize that the process of obtaining work permits in Qatar isn’t an easy task. That’s why we’re here to help guide you through the doubts that you may have. Don’t let any questions remain unanswered, our team is capable of assisting you so you can expand quickly and efficaciously.

Click here to learn about why should a company use an Employer of Record.

A Qatari work visa is valid through a period of 30 to 90 days and needs to be filled within seven working days upon the arrival of the employee. Additionally, employers can extend the visa’s validity by renewing the worker’s contract. At first, your work permit must be approved so you can opt for a work visa.

To obtain your work permits in Qatar, you must have a Ministry of Labor-approved employment contract in place. You have to work exclusively for the company that’s contacted you, and you’ll need to leave the country once your agreement is over. The standard requirements needed to apply for a work visa are:

  • Valid passport.
  • Employment contract.
  • Certificate of no criminal records.
  • Completed application forms from the Ministry of Labor.
  • Four passport-size photos of your face.
  • Enough money for the application fees.
  • Biometric information (fingerprints).
  • Medical examination in order.
  • Proof of academic qualifications and work experience.

It’s very important to remember that all your educational and employment certificates need to be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and verified by the Qatar Embassy. You could also have them attested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha. But, it’s a lengthy process and more expensive than if you do it in your home country. 

4. What are the types of work visas in Qatar?

Before getting into the country, you’ll need a visa to legally work and reside. When is time to apply for your work permits in Qatar, is important to know that there are several types of visas. Subsequently, you must choose the one that adjusts to your trip purpose, requirements, and length of stay.

4.1 Qatar Tourist Visa

This type of visa is for short-term stays for relaxation and having a good time in the State of Qatar. As a result, tourist visas are valid for two weeks, and sometimes can be expanded for three weeks only. Moreover, to apply you’ll need reservations in a Qatari hotel.

If you need it, you can also acquire a Longer Tourist visa. This one is valid for three months. You’ll need to apply before arrival at your nearest Qatar Embassy. The requirements include:

  • Copy of passport.
  • ID Card of the applicant.
  • ID Card of the hotel.
  • Application submitted through the hotel manager.

4.2 Qatar Business Visa

This visa in particular is for employees traveling to Qatar to work for a company for a short time. For this reason, only government-approved sponsors may offer business visas. Subsequently, the validity period of this visa is two weeks, stretchable up to four.

Any stay beyond this period will require an exit visa to abandon the country. During this time the person can only participate in restricted commercial activities. The requirements to opt for this visa are:

  • A copy of the passport of the employee.
  • ID Card of the company and visa applicant.
  • Letter by an approved company.
  • Application submitted through a company representative.

4.3 Qatar Work Visa

In this case, visas are arranged by the employer. Work visas are valid for one to three months, for employees looking to work for a short period. Therefore, to apply the worker must have a valid contract provided by a Qatari company and it must be approved by the Ministry of Labor.

In consequence, the employee needs to stay with the employer for the length of their stay. And will be asked to leave once their contract is over unless there are requirements to relocate the employee to another employer. You’ll need to do several medical examinations before obtaining a work visa.

4.4 Qatar Family Visa

Employees that actively work in Qatar, can become sponsors to their families so they can travel to the country and live together. There’s no expiration date on a family visa, it’s valid as long as the worker continues sponsoring them. The family sponsor needs to organize their family’s residence permits in advance.

Required documents are:

  • Passport photos of family members.
  • Applicable birth.
  • Marriage and education certificates.
  • Bank statement demonstrating at least six months’ salary worth of funds.
  • Approval letter from work.

4.5 Qatar GCC Resident Visa

Residents from countries in the Gulf Co-operation Council in an approved profession can receive a one-month resident visa. It may be renewable for up to three months. You require the documentation that certificates your professional status for this visa application. This process needs to be fulfilled through a Qatari Embassy in any of their countries. 

5. How much do Work Permits and Visas cost in Qatar?

Employees can enter Qatar on an Entry Visa, provided by their employer. You’ll need to convert this visa into a Work Residence Permit while you’re in the country. Needless to say that you’re not allowed to work until the visa conversion is completed and approved. Also, you can’t leave the country during this period of change.

Once the conversion process starts, the work visa takes from 2 to 4 weeks to process. But, can be longer depending on the circumstances. Work permits in Qatar can be rather expensive. Nevertheless, employers can pay for it on your behalf.

  • The Employment Entry Visa that you need to get into the country costs QAR 200.
  • Subsequently, to convert it into a Work Residence Permit there’s a fee of QAR 500.
  • In short, the work permit in Qatar’s fee is QAR 700.

Accordingly, workers can sponsor their relatives to Qatar on a family visa. To do so, they’ll need to have a Work Residence Permit and a monthly income of more than QAR 10.000. Specific documents to submit:

  • Birth and marriage certificates.
  • Passport copies.
  • An employer’s letter.
  • Proof of residence.

People in the State of Qatar under a family visa can’t legally work. But, can apply for the right to do so after they arrive in the Labor Department. Subsequently, women under this visa sponsored by their respective husbands, need to get their authorization to work.

6. How can EOR Middle East help you?

Here at EOR Middle East, we offer an extensive range of services meant to help companies enter new markets in our supported countries in the Middle East. Our varied team of experts will help you find, pay, hire, and manage a strong staff in your preferred country, including Qatar.

We offer you:

Our specialists in work permits in Qatar give trustworthy advice and tailored outsourcing services to support you through the country’s complicated immigration process rapidly and effectively. While saving you time and money, providing you answers to any doubt that you may have about the process.

Would you like to contact EOR Middle East? You can call at 00 971 433 16 688 or send an email to [email protected], and you’ll talk to one of our representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.

Send us your CV to The Talent Point right now. Moreover, we won’t store CVs and resumes you send to [email protected]. Don’t hesitate any longer! 

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