Applying for Work in Qatar as an Expat
by Mashum Mollah Job & Career 09 September 2019
The sovereign nation of Qatar is located in western Asia, bordered on the south by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to the west. Ad Dawha, better known as Doha, is inhabited by approximately eighty percent of the Arabic nation’s population.
Out of its 2.1 population, almost eighty percent of the inhabitants taking jobs are expatriates coming from the Indian subcontinent, the Philippines and North African Arab nations.
Ranked as the thirty-ninth smallest country in the world, Qatar stretches one hundred sixty kilometers from north to south and eighty kilometers wide. The State of Qatar, considered as an emirate, is ruled by the Al Thani Royal Family since its declaration of independence in 1971.
Getting a Work Permit as an Expat
As in any other country, jobs in Qatar has some requirements for expatriates who would want to work in their country. Hukoomi, which is the government’s official website, has all the information you need to be able to work in Qatar.
To be able to work as an expat in the State of Qatar, you need to have an employer who would take care of all the paperwork and your permit, and that includes your working visa.
Once you arrive, your employer, also considered as your sponsor, will then start arranging your work residence permit. Your employer would advise you about the required documents such as your passport and certificates of your qualification. You would also have to undergo further check, including medical examination and fingerprint submission.
Processing your permit may take up to six weeks and may take longer if it falls during Ramadan. At this period, while waiting for your paperwork to be approved, you are not allowed to leave Qatar.
Your work permit would have several conditions as well. One of those is that you can only work with the same employer on your whole stay in Qatar. Switching jobs in Qatar is possible, only after a certain period as allowed by law.
You can also sponsor your immediate family, which includes your spouse, children, or your parents. However, due to Qatar’s strict Islamic laws, couples who are not married are not allowed to live under the same roof. Homosexuality is punishable by law and same-sex marriage, even though it was done outside the country, is not recognized.
It is also essential to know the exit restrictions that you need to adhere to you being the primary permit holder. For you to be allowed to leave Qatar, it is necessary to secure a no-objection certificate before leaving the country.
Working Environment In Qatar
Since Qatar’s legislation is based on Sharia law, you may have to make a few adjustments to cope with the work environment. The holy day for Islam is Friday; therefore, your working days would likely be from Sunday to Thursday.
Most offices also have prayer rooms for men and women where they would pray several times a day.
There is also a significant number of women in Qatar’s workforce. They have a strong presence in the government and corporate organizations. Most women coming from overseas are usually employed as teachers, health workers, and other professional services.