November 10, 2020

Residence and Work Permits

To live and work in Qatar you must have a Work Residence Permit (RP). To be eligible to apply for an RP you must first have a Qatari employer/sponsor (company or individual). Once a job has been secured, the employer is generally responsible for applying for the employees RP. Initially, you would arrive in Qatar under a temporary, 3-month visa, organised by your employer, in order to begin the administrative procedures required for moving to and working in a new country. The RP application process begins once you have entered Qatar, though your employer would require documents (some attested) beforehand, such as copies of your passport, your qualifications, and a police clearance certificate. As part of the RP application process, you will be required to undertake a medical (including blood test and x-ray) and provide fingerprints. Until your RP application has been approved and you have been given your residence card, you cannot leave the country. Leaving the country would mean the RP application process would need to be started from the beginning. The application process usually takes up to 6 weeks. Once you have a residence card you can apply for a loan, sign a rental accommodation agreement, buy a car, open a bank account, get a Qatari driving license, and apply for further permits. Your RP is generally renewed on an annual basis via your employer.
If you are moving to Qatar from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka or Tunisia, your employer can apply for your RP before you arrive in Qatar, via Qatar Visa Centres (QVCs) operating in the aforementioned countries. Medical check-ups, biometrics, fingerprinting and signing of contracts can all be booked with and completed at the associated QVC centre prior to leaving the country, which means employees may start work and enjoy the benefits of having an RP immediately on arriving in Qatar.
A residence permit also enables you to sponsor immediate family to live with you in Qatar (spouse, sons - under the age of 25, and daughters). This generally requires that you earn a minimum monthly wage threshold of approx. 10,000 QAR. Many companies apply and pay for family residence permits for you as part of the employment contract. However, if you are required to undertake the process yourself, you will need to submit:

  • The appropriate application forms (downloadable from the Ministry of Interior website, to be completed and translated into Arabic) to the Ministry of Labour for each family member;
  • A no objection letter from your employer;
  • A copy of your employment contract/letter from your employer citing your profession and salary;
  • Proof of residence;
  • Copies of your’s and your family’s passports;
  • Passport-sized photographs of your family members applying for residency;
  • As applicable, attested marriage certificate and birth certificates;
  • As applicable, police clearance certificate for adult applications.

Family visas each cost 200 QAR. Family members will enter Qatar on Tourist Visas and, as part of the RP application process, will be required to undertake a medical (prior to application submission) and provide fingerprints. RPs are generally renewed on an annual basis.
It is worth noting that if you leave Qatar for more than six months you may lose your residency status. To avoid losing residency status, you need to apply to the Ministry of Interior for an extension in advance.

Click here for more information on how to undertake Medical Checks and Fingerprinting in Qatar.

Main image: Copyright Living 2022

Published: January 01, 2020
Last updated: November 10, 2020
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