A work permit, by definition, is a document that authorises an expat to seek employment from relevant authorities in the foreign country that he or she intends to work in and reside for that time being. The permit is in the form of a document or a passport stamp that clearly states the sector of work and dates in which the expat is allowed to stay in the country.
In order to work in Qatar legally, expats are required to obtain a permit. They are officially known as Work Residence Permits. A Qatar national is to play the role of your sponsor, for you to process your work permit. Read to know more about how to obtain a work permit for Qatar
Who requires a work permit
Nationals from the GCC (Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi) are not required to hold a visa to enter Qatar for employment and visiting purposes. A national from any other jurisdiction requires the relevant work permit.
Please note that an Israeli stamp on the passport will disqualify the applicant from entering Qatar.
Issuance of Work Permit
Work permits in Qatar are issued to companies, private individuals and individual sponsorships. Please note that all visa applicants for the work permit should be approved by the Ministry of Interior in Qatar.
Types of Qatar Work Permit
There are two types of work permits in Qatar: temporary work permit and permanent long term visa. The sponsor applies, takes care of the fees and collects the work permit on behalf of the employee.
- Temporary Work Entry Permit
This permit is required to gain entry for employment purposes. The Qatar immigration department is responsible for the approval of the kind of employment, the nationality and the applicant’s sponsor. The application is cumbersome and complicated, but it is valid for a year and comes with various opportunities to renew on a yearly basis. It takes approximately two weeks to be processed.
- Permanent Long Term Visa
Also known as the residency visa, this is applied by those who wish to seek long term employment. The sponsor applies for the residency visa when the applicant accepts the job offer and relocates to begin work. The application is made to the Ministry of Interior of Qatar. It takes four to eight weeks to administer.
The residence visa in Qatar is valid for two years. In some cases, they are granted for only six months after which it is to be renewed. The process of renewal is usually straightforward but must be started before the old visa expires.
Acceptance of job offer
The first step is the receipt of the job offer. Application for Qatar Visa is not permitted without the initiation of a job offer by an organisation in Qatar. Expats must ensure that the local employer is to act as their sponsor as well while applying for the residence permit in Qatar.
The employer plays a significant role in the application of the work residence permit. Considering the fact that the number of expats in Qatar is fairly high, organisations today create a separate department to take care of the immigration process of expats.
Application for a work permit in Qatar
Once the employment has been secured, your employer applies for a No Objection Certificate that will then be stamped on your passport prior to your entry into Qatar. Processing a residence visa is the next step.
The residence visa takes approximately two to six weeks. In case you leave the country during this period, the process needs to be executed from scratch.
The trick is to keep track of all expiry dates and submit the passport for renewal of the visa one month before it expires. Note that the form must be filled out in Arabic. It should be submitted with the appropriate documents and the payment must be made with the application form.
The applicant must go through a long and intensive process. The application process consists of various assessments such as medical examinations, fingerprints and blood tests. They are carried out during the first three months in Qatar on a single entry visa.
Required documents for a Temporary and Permanent Entry Visa:
- Valid passport (Must have a minimum of 8 months remaining)
- Certified educational documents (documents showing the highest level of education obtained by the applicant)
- Up to 20 passport sized photos may be required
Role and responsibility of the sponsors
The sponsor is the guarantor of not just the entire permit process but also details such as rental agreements, bank accounts and various other legal authorisation requirements that the employee will require in Qatar.
The sponsors are required to ensure that the sponsored individuals follow the law of Qatar to the T. The sponsors are responsible for the expats and will be prosecuted for any deviance from the rules and regulations. A working spouse is allowed to sponsor his wife and their children to enter the county.
Visa and work permit regulations are subject to change at short notice. If the application is not accurate, applying again after a rejection will not be easy. Ensure that your first shot is your best shot. Call in the experts to ensure that the process is impeccable.
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