Getting a residence permit in Qatar
This helpful guide will walk you through your responsibilities in the process of getting a Residence Permit ID card in Qatar.
Getting your Residence Permit in Qatar is critically important if you plan on moving there. You will need this card as official identification and to enter government buildings, to pay your bills, and to rent a house. Your options become nearly limitless once you are recognized as an official resident of Qatar. Thankfully, expats can rely on their employers to do most of the paperwork; you will only oversee a few details during the process.
This guide covers the following sections:
- The Residence Permit in Qatar
- Who needs an RP in Qatar?
- How to apply for an RP in Qatar?
- What Residence Permits in Qatar are used for
- Temporary Residence Permit in Qatar
- What to do if you lose your Residence Permit in Qatar
The Residence Permit in Qatar
If your plan is to live and work in Qatar, you will need a valid Residence Permit (RP). This will allow you to be able to sign a rental agreement, pay your fines, rent a car, and officially identify yourself. The RP is a rectangular-shaped stiff card that includes your photo, name, date of birth, and your 11-digit ID number. It will also specify your nationality and occupation. Residence Permits are issued by the State of Qatar Ministry of Interior.
Who needs an RP in Qatar?
Everyone living in Qatar, from infants to the elderly, needs a Residence Permit. Non-residents and tourists can stay in the country for as long as their visa allows, but may not work or stay beyond that period without an RP.
How to apply for an RP in Qatar
The good news about the RP is that employers handle the bulk of the paperwork. Once you have found an employer that is based in Qatar and wants to hire you, they begin the paperwork to become your sponsor. Once the process is underway, you will have to travel to Qatar because the paperwork must be completed with you in the country. It is very important that you don’t leave the country until the process is completed.
You will enter Qatar on a single-entry visa and complete the required steps once you arrive. You will also need to take a blood test to check for communicable diseases, have a chest x-ray, and provide fingerprints. It is important to know that if you are found to be positive for HIV, you will be denied an RP and deported.
Although your employer handles the bulk of the process, be sure to confirm with them all the steps that you should be handling on your end. The process of getting a Residence Permit usually takes between two to four weeks, however, it can take longer. Once you (or the employed person) get the RP, then you (or they) can sponsor your family to live in Qatar.
Requirements for a Residence Permit in Qatar
The main requirement for getting a Residence Permit is an employment contract from a Qatari employer. Besides that, you will need your original passport (and copies), four passport-sized photos, and whatever your employer asks you to provide (attested educational documents, marriage certificate, and so on). Your best bet is to follow your employer’s lead. Residence Permits cost QR 1,000 per year.
What Residence Permits in Qatar are used for
You should carry your RP with you at all times because, if you are asked for it, you must be able to provide it. You will need a Residence Permit for several reasons, such as:
- Identifying yourself in government offices
- Renting a car
- Opening a bank account
- Getting a driver’s license
- Applying for a loan
Temporary Residence Permit in Qatar
When you first arrive in Qatar, you will enter the country on a temporary visa that your employer will have organized. Once you are in the country you will complete the steps to convert that into a Residence Permit. Keep a steady communication with your employer to make sure they have everything they need, as this will avoid delays and keep you in the loop.
What to do if you lose your Residence Permit in Qatar
If you lose your Residence Permit, go to a branch of the Ministry of the Interior with your passport and a fee of QR 200. You will need to fill out a lost ID form and be issued a new card. To make things simpler, be sure to make a copy of your RP once you get it.