Work visas and permits in Qatar

work visa application
Updated 2023-06-11 13:40

To work in Qatar, it is compulsory to be in possession of a valid residence permit and a work visa. Administrative procedures to get legal authorizations to live and work in Qatar are often complex: first, you must find a "sponsor", i.e., a local employer wishing to hire you. Learn about the procedures for obtaining a work visa for Qatar in this article.

The sponsor initiates the Qatar work visa application by requesting all legal authorizations to hire a foreign worker from the Ministry of Interior of Qatar. The sponsor has a particular role to play since he must vouch for you in situations such as when you open a bank account in Qatar or when you sign a rental lease in the country.

Once the procedure is underway, foreign workers must then travel to Qatar with a single entry visa, valid for at least three months so as to carry out all compulsory administrative procedures and apply for a residence visa once there. If you leave the country within this 3 month period, the process will reset to day one as soon as you enter the country again. You can contact your embassy for more information about entry visa applications.

Formalities for obtaining a work visa in Qatar

Once in Qatar, you must get a residence permit and a work visa. Local companies generally undertake visas and permit procedures for their expatriate employees. However, blood tests and X-rays are compulsory. HIV tests are also performed; in case of infection, you must leave the country. You will also be fingerprinted.

Once the residence permit and work visa are in your possession, you will be allowed to work in Qatar. Note that you must work for your sponsor only; if you want to take another job, a minimum period of two years in employment with your original sponsor is compulsory.

To sum up, here are the key points to know about obtaining a work visa for Qatar:


In order to obtain a work visa for Qatar, you must have a sponsoring employer or company in Qatar. The sponsoring entity will be responsible for initiating the visa application process on your behalf. They will submit the required documents to the relevant Qatari authorities, such as the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs.

Employment offer

You will need to have a confirmed job offer from a Qatari employer before applying for a work visa. The employer will serve as your sponsor and facilitate the visa process.

Required documents

The specific documents required for a work visa for Qatar may vary but generally include the following:

  • Valid passport with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended stay in Qatar;
  • Completed visa application form;
  • Passport-sized photographs;
  • Copy of the employment contract or job offer letter;
  • Educational qualifications and professional certifications;
  • Medical examination report from an approved medical center;
  • Police clearance certificate from your home country;

Other supporting documents as requested by the Qatari authorities.

Health insurance

It is mandatory to have health insurance coverage in Qatar, either provided by your employer or obtained independently.

Duration and renewal

Work visas in Qatar are typically issued for a specific duration, usually corresponding to the employment contract period. They can be renewed if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria and your employer sponsors the renewal.

It is important to note that the process and requirements for obtaining a work visa in Qatar can be complex and may vary depending on the specific circumstances, such as the type of employment, your nationality, and the sponsoring company. It is recommended to consult with the sponsoring employer or seek professional advice to ensure that you fulfill all the necessary requirements and follow the correct procedures.

It's advisable to stay updated on the latest travel advisories and guidelines provided by the Qatari government and authorities to ensure compliance with the necessary health and safety protocols.

Obtaining a work permit in Qatar

Once your work visa is approved, you will also need to obtain a work permit, which is issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs. The work permit is a prerequisite for legal employment in Qatar. Below is some key information about the work permit:

The duration of a work permit in Qatar depends on the employment contract and can vary from one to five years. It is usually aligned with the validity of the work visa.

After receiving your work visa, your employer will initiate the process to obtain a work permit on your behalf. They will submit the necessary documents and complete the required procedures with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs.

The specific documents required for the work permit application may vary depending on your profession and the company you work for. Generally, you will need to provide:

  • Valid passport;
  • Work visa copy;
  • Employment contract;
  • Educational and professional qualifications;
  • Medical certificate (from an approved medical center in Qatar);
  • No-objection certificate (if applicable);
  • Other supporting documents as required.

The processing time for a work permit in Qatar can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months. Delays can occur due to various factors, such as administrative procedures, document verification, or workload.

A work permit allows you to legally work in Qatar and enjoy the benefits provided by the labor laws. It grants you the right to work for the specific employer and occupation mentioned in the permit. It also ensures that you are covered under labor law protections, including access to employment rights, social security, and other benefits.

If you wish to change your employer while in Qatar, you will need to follow the proper procedures to transfer your work permit to the new employer.

It is important to note that the information provided here is general and may be subject to change. It is advisable to consult with your employer or a legal expert for specific and up-to-date information regarding the work permit process in Qatar.

Moving to Qatar with dependents

Holders of work visas in Qatar can bring their families with them if they earn a salary package of 10,000 riyals or above. Those with a minimum salary of QR 7,000 free family accommodation were also eligible (if family accommodation is provided by the employer). They must sponsor residence permits for their spouses and children under 25 years old. In most situations, it is very difficult for a wife to sponsor a husband, but not the other way around. In these situations, the husband will be required to get separate sponsorship or to apply for family visit visas for 6 months at a time. It is possible for women in Qatar to be employed under their husband's sponsorship. In these situations, you will not receive a full expat package with extras, such as a housing allowance, but you will be provided with a basic salary.

Family members of work permit holders in Qatar can join them in the country by applying for a family residence visa. Below are the key points to know about bringing family members of work permit holders to Qatar:


The Qatari work permit holder (employee) must act as the sponsor for their family members. This means that the employee must have a valid work permit and employment contract in Qatar to sponsor their family's residence visa. The sponsoring employee must submit an application for family residence visa sponsorship to the Ministry of Interior in Qatar. This application typically requires the submission of various documents, including the employee's work permit, passport copies of family members, marriage certificate (for spouses), birth certificates (for children), and other supporting documents as required.

Eligible family members

The immediate family members who are eligible to be sponsored for a family residence visa include the employee's spouse and their unmarried children who are under the age of 25. In some cases, extended family members such as parents and siblings may also be eligible, but the specific requirements and eligibility criteria may vary.

Medical examination

Family members may be required to undergo a medical examination at an approved medical center in Qatar as part of the visa application process. This examination is conducted to ensure that family members meet the health requirements set by the Qatari authorities.


The sponsoring employee must provide proof of suitable accommodation for their family members in Qatar. This can be in the form of a tenancy contract or proof of ownership of a property.

Visa duration and renewal

Family residence visas are typically issued for a duration that corresponds to the validity of the employee's work permit. They can be renewed along with the renewal of the employee's work permit, subject to meeting the necessary requirements.

It's important to note that the specific requirements and procedures for bringing family members to Qatar may vary depending on the individual circumstances, nationality, and the rules and regulations in place at the time of application. It is advisable to consult with the employer's human resources department or a legal advisor who is knowledgeable about immigration laws in Qatar to ensure a smooth and accurate application process.

Good to know:

Once in Qatar, it is necessary to get a local identity card containing your personal information (the type of visa you hold, nationality, etc..) To apply for a "smart ID card", visit the Government of Qatar online to find out about the application procedure.

Useful links:

Qatar Ministry of Interior

Qatar Government Online - smart ID card

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.