HR & Immigration
Afreno has years of vast experience when it comes to ensuring that your company complies with all of the Human Resource regulations in Qatar. The local laws on immigration include provisions on official procedures regarding residence permits, immigration of employees, employment statuses, and so on. It is also important to note that the Qatari government imposes various quotas on the visas of different job categories.
With Afreno as your business consultancy partner, we can keep you updated on the latest news and most up-to-date data on quotas and visa regulations. We have solid, long-standing relationships and reliable liaisons with the Ministry of Labour to help facilitate all document requirements. Because local regulations are subject to change at any time, it’s best to have a trusted professional partner who can make sure that you are privy to all of the most recent developments when it comes to the various immigration and HR provisions you should know about.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need assistance with securing work permits?
Rules are always subject to change, so it helps to have someone keep you updated on the latest regulations. For instance, employees will have to pass a medical test before getting a work permit from the Ministry of Labour.
What else do I need to know about work permit requirements?
Employees need to have their fingerprints recorded and will need to submit documents such as passports and visas.
What about residence permits?
The employer must take care of the process of converting the work entry visa to a residence permit, during which the employee is not allowed to leave the country.
What is a Qatar ID?
The Ministry of Interior issues the QID (identification card) and is a prerequisite of the residence application process.
Why do I need a Qatar Identification Card?
You will need your Qatar ID to open a bank account, apply for a driving license, or even speed up your immigration process at the airport via the e-Gate system.
Why do I need help with my employment contracts?
Afreno can not only facilitate paperwork requirements, but we can also provide you with expert translation services, which is required for all of your employment contracts.
What else should I know about visas?
The requirements, eligibility, and processing procedures and durations differ by visa classification. For instance, a work visa can allow an initial stay of up to 30 days, wherein you can apply for two 30-day extensions.
Can I just apply for visas and permits by myself?
All individuals who wish to work in Qatar must have a Qatari host entity to sponsor his or her work visa and residence permit.
What happens if the visas reach the quota?
The labour Block Visa limits the specific number of visas that are awarded for individuals based on their nationality and gender depending on a certain job title. If the visa becomes available, a Work Visa that is valid for up to 180 days for entry to Qatar is then issued. Extensions are possible.
Why do I need a health card?
Health cards provide various government medical benefits at subsidized costs. You can easily renew your health card online via the Hukoomi Qatar Government Portal.
Various immigrant visa categories have quotas on the number of visas that the embassies can issue every year. Aside from this, visas can only be issued a limited number of times depending on the country of origin annually. If a certain country has already reached its visa quota for that year, you will have to wait until a visa becomes available. There is a per-country limit for countries like Mexico, India, China, and the Philippines.
While the immigration law of Qatar can be relatively restrictive at times, it is also incredibly efficient and orderly, making for increased overall benefits for all visitors and citizens. Afreno can help with the process of facilitating visa applications regardless of your situation. You can rely on our dependable relationships with the relevant bodies of authority in the government to provide you with a prompt, hassle-free, and stress-free application experience every step of the way.
The employee can apply for a Residence Permit once the employment visa and work permit are already properly approved. There will be a medical check-up and fingerprint scans. The employer must then begin the process of having the work permit converted to a residence permit within 7 days of arrival. Under Law No.14 of 2004 in the Labour Law, the local contract must be approved by the Labour Department in both English and Arabic. This employment contract must be presented upon application, as well as payroll records and bank statements.
The employer must submit the following to the Ministry of Labour: Residence Permit application in both Arabic and English, the original medical certificate, the employee’s passport and employment visa, a copy of the Commercial Registration of the company, and the immigration card. This process takes approximately a month and a half to process, which Afreno can efficiently help you with.
As administered by the Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the law No.14 of 2004 of the Labour Law dictates the provisions regarding work permits and permanent residency visas. The employer must act as the local sponsor for every employee. Employers also hold other authoritative responsibilities such as giving consent for an exit visa for the employee, as well as consent before terminating work arrangements and leaving the country.
The employer must obtain an employment visa for every employee before the candidate enters the country. The completed application form must be in Arabic, which Afreno’s expert translators can help you with. You must also have a copy of the Commercial Registration of your company, as well as your business’ immigration card and a copy of a valid employment contract and employee passport. It normally takes about 2 weeks to 4 weeks to process the employment visa, and it is valid from 1-5 years.
The labour card is required for any woman who is working in Qatar on family sponsorship. The required documents include the details and IDs of the husband or father with translated versions into the Arabic language, as well as a duly attested Police Clearance Certificate. The passport copy of the applicant must also be provided, along with any relevant educational certificates, fees, ID photos, and the sponsor’s ID card. Employment contracts must be translated in both English and Arabic, and must also be duly attested for authentication.
The Labor Card is valid for a whole year, and you can renew this annually. Afreno can provide prompt, professional, and expert assistance when it comes to facilitating submission procedures, as well as in translating the necessary documents accurately and completely. Attestation services are also within our area of expertise so that we can ensure a smooth and seamless application process for you.
Qatar Identification Card (QID)
The Qatari national eID card provides an efficient way for everyone to have a secure biometric identity document, as well as a way to utilise PKI-enabled secure identification with strong authentication for every citizen and foreign resident. This match-on-card technology is able to impressively store and verify fingerprints, as well as provide an easy method for everyone to access the Hukoomi portal.
This valuable personal identification document is useful for opening a bank account, for applying for driving licenses, for renewal, for facilitating your immigration process at the airport via the e-Gate system, as well as for applying for family visas. For instance, if the individual is staying with a Qatari resident, he or she must present an invitation letter from this friend or relative along with the Qatar ID, the resident visa copy, and the passport. Afreno can provide expert assistance when it comes to securing the Qatar ID among others.
The Medical Commission Department, as a department of the Ministry of Public Health, is responsible for screening all new individuals who wish to stay and work in Qatar. Everyone is screened for infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, HIV, Hepatitis C, TB, and Syphilis. Individuals can check the results of their medical examinations online.
This is an important requirement even before an application for the work permit is submitted. The medical certificate details the health of the employee to see if he or she is fit to work in the country. He or she should take a medical test at any hospital that is approved by the government. Afterward, the individual is required to submit a copy of their passport plus the necessary fee. After the medical certificate is issued, the employee can apply for a work and residence permit. Afreno can help facilitate the process for employers and employees alike.
Fingerprinting measures are essential when it comes to verifying the true identity of any individual who wishes to enter and stay in Qatar for work or for tourist purposes. Fingerprinting certificates are issued by the appropriate bodies of government, and are crucial in identifying every citizen and foreign resident. These can be attested for authenticity (Afreno can help you with this as well) to ensure that there are no falsifications of official documents, and can also be required for police-related certificates and clearances.
Moreover, fingerprints are also required for the application of work permits. Along with this, the requirements include the duly filled application form from the Ministry of Labour, the translated employment contract, the employee’s medical certificate, a copy of the Commercial Registration of the business, the immigration card of the business, the passport of the employee, the employment visa, any relevant educational document, and the necessary biometric fingerprints test.
The health card allows citizens and residents of the State to gain valuable access to all of the services at the Hamad Medical Corporation’s healthcare facilities. Just like the Qatai driving license, the health card also contains relevant information about a person’s nationality, ID number, date of issue, and photo. For anyone who holds a valid health card, he or she can avail of consultations or non-emergency treatments for a subsidized cost. They also have the luxury and convenience of having a government-run pharmacy fill out prescriptions at subsidized rates.
The Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) in the area can issue health cards for individuals. Qatari adults need copies of their passport or ID, a photo, and a certain fee. Residents must also present their valid Qatar ID. You should also be able to provide some form of utility bill copy as evidence of where you reside (phone, water, electricity bill).
In order to legally drive in Qatar, one must have a valid driving license. Driving licenses are duly issued by the Traffic Department as the authorised authority. If you have an approved license from a certain country, you can drive as a visitor for 7 days from the date of arrival in the country. However, for anyone who wishes to stay in Qatar for more than six months, you will need a permanent license. If you wish to drive for more than seven days, you can be issued a Temporary Driving License that will be valid for three months (this temporary license is renewable after its expiration).
Once an individual obtains a residence permit, you can convert the temporary driving license into a permanent license. Required documents must be submitted to the Medinat Khalifa Traffic Department. The private vehicle driving license has a validity of 10 years, and for non-Qataris, a validity of 5 years.
The employment contract identifies terms and conditions of employment, along with a detailed job description that discusses the responsibilities of an employee and the appropriate performance standards. It is important to have this employment contract formalised via an official Ministry version that must be in Arabic. This contract should also be attested for full authenticity. Afreno can provide expert professional services regarding both translations and attestations for all kinds of required documents.
Expatriate contracts may range from two years to any open- ended duration. Expatriates may also stay in Qatar for about 20 years or more. Regardless of the various provisions that are stated in the employment contract, both the employees and the employers have the crucial responsibility of making sure that the employment contract is official, valid, and binding. This ensures that both parties involved will not encounter any issues further down the road once the employment actually starts.