Are you an Expat in Qatar? Check out this Complete Guide About Residence Permits for Expats

  • 11 months   ago

All newcomers wishing to work and live in the State of Qatar require a Work Residence Permit (commonly referred to as an RP), for which they will need a Qatari employer​ (company or individual).

An expat will be granted with a Qatar ID (QID) once he/she got an approval for residency or work in the country.

Residence and work permits in Qatar, have become easy and simple after the recently revised labor law, which is flexible in protecting all rights of the two working parties.

Therefore, you can bring your family, to live with you in Qatar. Meanwhile, your wife can work in Qatar, but after registering in Recruitment Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs.

Important iformation about Residence Permits or Qatar IDs:

For residence permit renewal:

Automatic renewal of establishment cards in Qatar

What You Need to Know About Renewal of Visas and RP in Qatar

For lost or damaged QIDs:

What is the new process in reporting lost or damaged Residence Permits?

For expats not bringing with them their QIDs:

All expats who have been issued with residence permits should always carry their Residence Permit ID Cards or proof of residence and should produce it whenever asked by authorities concerned. Those who violate the rule will be fined up to QR10,000.

Can I obtain a residence permit without a recruiter?

The Minister of Interior may issue visas and grant residence permits without a recruiter for the following categories:

- Investors subject to the provisions of the law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity.

- Owners and beneficiaries of property and residential units, in accordance with the provisions of the law governing the own- ership and beneficial enjoyment of non-Qataris of real estate and housing units.

- Any other categories determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers.

In order to issue the residence permits for the said categories, the documents supporting the application must be submitted and the applicant must have a good reputation. The term of residence shall be five years and may be renewed for a period or other similar periods.

For the above-mentioned categories, residence may be grant- ed without the requirement of employment to the spouse, chil- dren and parents of the residence holder.

The above categories can leave the country during the validity period of residence without exit permit.

The competent authorities can cancel your residence permit in the following cases:

- If you prove that you obtained the residence permit based on incorrect information or documents.

- If the continuation of your stay in the State threatens its secu- rity and safety at home or abroad or harms its national econo- my or public health or public morals.

- If the purpose for which you are granted the residence permit has been violated or has become void without obtaining the permit thereof from the competent authorities.

What procedures should you ask your employer to do as soon as you come to Qatar?

Refer to the competent authority within 30 days from the date of entering the country to complete the residence permit pro- cedures.4

The employer (the recruiter) is obliged to finalize your residence permit or renewal process within a period not exceeding 90 days. He must give you your passport after the completion of the said procedures.

It is typically the responsibility of the employer to handle all paperwork required to obtain the Residence Permit on behalf of the expatriate.

When expatriates first enter Qatar, their employer will arrange for a temporary visa which is then converted to a Work Residency Permit – a process that typically takes 2-4 weeks and sometimes longer. Applicants may not leave the country during the period of visa-to-permit conversion.

The Residency Permit

Once an expatriate receives the Work Residence Permit, he or she can then access many other services, apply for further permits and licenses, sign a rental accommodation agreement, apply for a loan, and the list goes on.

Another key benefit of the Residence Permit is that it allows the worker to personally sponsor their immediate family members (spouse, sons, daughters) to join them and live in Qatar (see Family Residence Visa below).

Work Residence Permits are renewed each year by the expatriate’s employer.

According to Al Meezan, Qatar's Legal Portal, here are the the regulations set by the State of Qatar about the Residence of the Expatriates in the State of Qatar:

Who will process the formalities for the require residence permit of an expat?

9 Article

Any Expatriate who is resident in the State of Qatar shall obtain a permit from the appropriate competent authority.

The sponsor shall comply with the formalities for the required residence permit and the renewal thereof, provided that the application for renewal is made within a period that shall not exceed ninety days from the date of the expiry of the said permit.

The sponsor shall deliver to the sponsored person his passport or travel document after finalizing the residence formalities or after applying for the renewal thereof.

Who will process the formalities for the require residence permit of an expat?

10 Article

 Any Expatriate who entered the State of Qatar for a visit, business activity or for an equivalent purpose shall be exempted for a period of no more than thirty days from the obligations set forth in Article 5 - (Both the sponsor and Expatriate shall report to the competent authorities within seven days of the Expatriate's entry to the State of Qatar in order to comply with the formalities of the residence or business permit so issued.)

The competent authority may permit the sponsor or Expatriate to authorize representative(s) to finalize the formalities stated in the preceding Paragraph.

The said Expatriate may not stay in the country after the expiration of the period referred to in this Article except after the renewal of his permit or after obtaining a residence status.

How long is the period during which you have to leave the country?

An expatriate shall leave if he does not obtain a residence per- mit.

He must also leave within ninety (90) days if the residence permit is terminated, canceled for any reason, or the purpose for which he entered the country is not valid anymore.

11 Article

An Expatriate permitted to enter or reside in the country for a specific purpose or to work for a specific undertaking shall not deviate from the purpose for which he is permitted to enter or reside and shall leave the country within ninety (90) days after such purpose or business is completed or otherwise in the case that the residence is cancelled for any reason whatsoever.

Additional information from Discover Qatar:

What if my Qatar ID has expired?

If your QID has expired while you have been outside of Qatar you may be permitted to re-enter Qatar to renew your QID, after you been approved to travel and have successfully completed your mandated quarantine period.

What if the sponsor proves to be abusive or has not provided required sponsorship assistance to the expat?

12 Article

Should any legal action be pending between a sponsor and an employee who is an Expatriate, the Minister or his appointed deputy may temporarily transfer the employee to another employer.

The Minister or his appointed deputy may approve the transfer of the residence of an Expatriate employee who is not subject to the Labour Law to another employer in the case that the sponsor in question proves to be abusive or if public interest so requires.

An employee who is subject to the Labour Law may on request, for the same reasons, subject to the approval of the Minister or his appointed deputy and the approval of the Ministry of Labour, have his residence transferred to another employer.

How long an expat can remain outside of Qatar?

13 Article

An Expatriate who has been granted permission to reside in the country may not remain out of the country for more than six months continuously unless, before leaving or before one year has elapsed, he/she obtains a return permit from the competent authority on payment of the prescribed fees, provided no more than sixty days have elapsed since the expiration of his/her residence permit. The Minister or his appointed deputy may waive this period.

Additional information from Discover Qatar:

What are the rules for terminated employees or expats?

14 Article

Should an employee been terminated of the employment pursuant to the provisions of Article 61 of the Labor Law, the provisions of the laws governing the State personnel, or of any other law, and the employee decides not to appeal the decision before the court of jurisdiction or if such appeal is unsuccessful, he may not return to the country within (4) four years from the date of departure.

Can expats work part time with another sponsor?

15 Article

No natural or juristic person may allow expatriates recruited as employees to work for any other entities, nor may they employ staff who is not thus sponsored.

The competent authority may, exceptionally, allow the sponsor to second its Expatriate employees to another employer for no more six (6) months, with the arrangement renewable for a similar period.

Subject to the written approval of his sponsor, the competent authority may allow such Expatriate to work on a part-time basis for a different employer at times other than the designated working hours of his original employer.

In all cases, the, approval of the Ministry of Labor must be sought for the categories subject to the provisions of the Labor Law. Permits may not be assigned for third parties nor may they be disposed of or circulated by third parties in any other way whatsoever, whether or not such assignment is against consideration.

Can the expat apply for residency for their family members?

16 Article

Residence permits are granted to the spouse of the residence holder, to male children up to the age of twenty-five who have not completed their university education, and to unmarried daughters.

The permit holder's parents may be granted residence permits at the discretion of the Minister or his appointed deputy.

Subject to the provisions of the two preceding paragraphs, the requirements in respect of the granting of residence permits shall be determined by ministerial resolution.

Family Residence Visa – permission for your family to stay

Expatriates can sponsor their immediate family members. Every family member, including infants, must have an individual Family Residence Visa. The Visa can be purchased for a period of 1-5 years and is stamped in each family member’s passport.

Applicants are required to submit a number of documents, including authenticated marriage and birth certificates, no-objection letter and salary certificate from their employer.

Registering as a Working Woman

A woman who is in Qatar on a family sponsorship and who has approval from her husband may register to work without obtaining a separate work permit. Applicants may visit the Labor Department to complete the application process.

Is it legal to bring your family to live with you during your stay in Qatar? What are the conditions for that?

It is possible for you as worker after acquiring a residency per- mit to apply for bringing your spouse and underage children, male children who did not finish their college up to 25 years, and non-married daughters for staying with you in Qatar on your sponsorship. If you have appropriate accommodation and your salary12 is enough to support them during their stay in Qatar - minimum wages decided by the Permanent Immigration Committee at the Ministry of Labor13.

It is possible for working woman to apply to interior minister to bring her spouse, the minister may consent her application if he finds it justifiable.

What are the residency terms for children of expat permit holders?

17 Article

A residence permit may be applied for within (60) sixty days of the date of birth or the date of entering the country in respect of a child born to an expatriate whose family has obtained residence permits.

If the child was born outside the country and one or both parents have a valid residence permit, the child shall be permitted to enter the country within two (2) years of its birth.

Based on the National Human Rights Committee Workers' Booklet, here are some guidelines about Expats' Residence Permits:

What are the responsibilities of a sponsor for an expat whose residence permit has expired, cancelled or if he/she has been issued with a deportation order?

The recruiter is obliged to bear the expenses of your deportation to your country (the price of the ticket), upon the expiry of your residence permit or cancellation or the issuance of a deportation order.

If it is proven that you were working for another party in violation of the law, that party will bear the expenses of your deportation. In the event that it is not possible to know this party, you (the worker) shall bear these expenses. If you do not have funds within the country and are unable to pay them, the recruiter will bear these expenses.

The Ministry may, if the recruiter is a public servant and has breached his/her obligations towards the worker, shall collect the expenses of deportation from the salaries and entitlements of the recruiter, in coordination with his employer.
The recruiter shall be responsible for the expenses of burying the body of the deceased expatriate in the assigned burial grounds in the State, whatever cause of death.
In the event that one of the heirs of the deceased or any other institution requests the repatriation of the body outside the State, the recruiter shall bear these costs to the country of or- igin or the permanent place of residence of the deceased expatriate.
What are the duties of the recruiter (employer) in case you leave work?
The recruiter shall inform the competent authority within four- teen days from the date of leaving the work, or refrain from leaving the country after the revocation of your license or the end of your residence permit, or the expiry of the permit and the passage of ninety days without renewal.
He/she must also notify the competent authority at the end of the period of your visit or the purpose for which you are authorized to enter.

Source: Al Meezan