If you’re about to move to Qatar for employment, here is what you should expect.
The regular process for obtaining your residency and work permit is as follows:
1. Termporary Permit
Your temporary permit is valid for six months and it allows you to be in Qatar to obtain a job. Your employer will set it up so you can start working upon arrival but all the formalities of getting a work residency permit must be completed within three months.
The residency work permit process generally takes 2-4 weeks and you won’t be able to leave the country during that time.
2. Medical check-up
A health check is required for anyone applying for a residency work permit. This will include a blood test and a chest x-ray. Your employer’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) will arrange the appointment for you.
You should normally have your results within three days. If you are medically unfit, your application will be refused and you’ll likely be required to leave the country.
Another requirement for obtaining a residency work permit is having your fingerprints taken. This will also be arranged by your PRO and it’ll take place after your medical check.
4. Residence permit and ID card
Once the previous steps are done, then your PRO will send in the complete applications for your residency work permit and ID card at the same time. Permits are valid for one to three years. Once you have your ID card, you need to carry it with you at all times.
You might also be asked for a police clearance certificate. Your residency work permit becomes invalid if you stay out of the country for more than six months at a time.
Before moving to Qatar, make sure that all your educational certificates are authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then attested by the Qatar embassy. If you’re unable to do it in your home country, then attestation can be done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha, but it can be a lengthy process.
If you would like to sponsor your family, it can only be done after you get your permit. You will need to have your marriage and children’s birth certificates authenticated as well. Similarly, you won’t be able to do much prior to getting your permit, including getting a licence or signing a rental agreement.
Note that employment visas are only issued to individuals aged between 18 to 60 years old. A special approval will be required from Immigration if you are older than 60.