Qatar Work Visa Requirements
A work visa by definition is where an individual obtains authorization for a right to seek employment, from the relevant authority in the country he/she intends to work in. A typical work visa will be in the form of a passport stamp or documentation. It must be noted that some individuals do not require a work visa depending on their country of domicile, generally all jurisdictions with reciprocal treaty agreements do not stipulate that an individual must obtain a work visa for undertaking employment in those countries. Typically each jurisdiction will provide unique conditions to satisfy in order to be approved a work visa.
Who requires a Qatar Work Visa?
All nationals from the Gulf Cooperation Countries which include; Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are not required to have a visa to enter the jurisdiction of Qatar for visitation or employment purposes. However is you are a national for any remaining jurisdiction and wish to enter Qatar on a temporary or permanent basis you will need to obtain the relevant Visa. Qatar work visas can be issued to private individuals, companies or individual sponsorships, however every work visa applicant must be approved by the Ministry of Interior in Qatar.
Types of Qatar Work Visas
There are 2 primary work related visas relevant to entry of Qatar. First is the temporary work entry visa and second is the permanent long term visa. In both instances the fee and collection of the visa is done by the sponsor on behalf of the applicant/employee.
Qatar Temporary Work Entry Visa
This visa is necessary to enter Qatar for employment purposes. The type of employment, nationality and applicants sponsor must be approved by the Qatar Immigration Department before the applicant can proceed. Application for a temporary work entry visa is a lengthy and complex procedure however, once approved; the visa is valid for a year with opportunities to renew it on a yearly basis.
Qatar Permanent Long Term Visa
This Visa, also known as a Residency visa is required by applicants seeking long term employment in Qatar. The applicant’s employer (sponsor) must apply for the long term permit as soon as the applicant accepts the employment offer and relocates to undertake the employment position. Application for the temporary and permanent work visas are made to the Ministry of Interior of Qatar. Process times differ depending on the applicant and sponsor and the type of work visa you are applying for however, for a Permanent Long Term Visa application the process will take between 4-8 weeks to administer, where as a temporary work entry visa will take approximately 2 weeks to process.
Validity of a Residence (permanent long term) Visa
Validity of this particular Qatar Visa is for a period of up to 3 years where the applicant has a long term employment contract with a host company based in Qatar. Where work visa holder wishes to leave Qatar for any reason, he/she is legally required to obtain a Qatar exit visa (although an exit visa is not necessary for the main visa holders family).
Required documents for a Temporary and Permanent Entry Visa:
- Valid passport (your passport must have a minimum of 8 months remaining)
- Copies of certified educational documents (documents evidencing he highest level of education obtained by the applicant)
- Up to 20 passport sized photos may be required
The Qatari Ministry of Interior uploads all approved entry visa applications to their website so they can be viewed by the applicant. In order to view your approved entry visa you will need obtain the relevant password as stipulated by your sponsor and also enter your country of citizenship to access the information.
Qatar Work Visa Application Procedure
The applicant seeking a work visa is subject to a long and intensive immigration process. The application process includes various personal assessments from medical examinations, blood tests and finger prints. These tests will be carried out during your initial 3 month visit to Qatar on a single entry visa.
Non Eligible Qatar Visa applicants
It must be noted that if your passport includes an Israeli stamp then you will not qualify to apply for any form of visa for entry into Qatar.
Responsibilities of your Sponsor
- Your sponsor (employer) will be your guarantor with regards to rental agreements, opening of bank accounts and other legal authorization requirements you may encounter.
Restrictions of a Qatar Work Visa
Once you have been approved and issued your permanent entry visa you are eligible to undertake your position of work with the sponsor company, however you are not eligible to seek alternative employment once you have obtained the relevant visas. After a minimum period of 2 consecutive year’s employment with the original host sponsor, you may then seek alternative employment in Qatar. A primary condition to satisfy before the applicant can seek alternative employment is that he must obtain a NOC certificate (No Objection Certificate) from this current employer, if you do not acquire this certificate then your sponsorship will not be valid and you will have lost all rights to work in Qatar.
Benefits of a Qatar Work Visa
Holders of a Qatar work visa have the right to relocate their spouse and dependants (under 25 years of age) to Qatar with them. The main work visa holder must sponsor the residence permits for his/her family which will enable them to move to Qatar but not to take up employment there.