A Work Residence Permit cannot be obtained unless there is a job offer or contract from an employer. Once a job offer is accepted, the employer begins the application process, and informs the employee of what documentation is required. Certificates such as degree and marriage documents need to be attested by both the country of issue’s foreign office, plus the Qatar embassy.
Workers can first enter Qatar on an Entry Visa, and must remain in the country until the Work Residence Permit has been issued, which can take six weeks or longer.
The following procedures are obligatory, and the sponsoring company is likely to assist with the arrangements and cover the cost:
A medical test (compulsory for all forms of residency permit). This must be done during the first week of being in Qatar. Before attending the medical test, a certificate showing blood type must be obtained. This can be done at any medical clinic. The medical test consists of blood screening for HIV and hepatitis B and C. Permit applications are rejected if HIV test results are positive. There are also chest X-rays to test for tuberculosis. The main centre for taking the test is the government-run Medical Commission office on Al Muntazah Street.
It is also possible to do the medical examination at a private hospital:
Results from the Medical Commission take about a week.
Once the medical test has been passed, applicants must have their fingerprints scanned and registered with the Ministry of Interior.
When the above procedures are complete, the Work Residence Permit and compulsory Qatari ID card are issued.
Foreigners lose their residency status if they leave the country for more than six months, unless a visa extension is applied for.
Work Residence Permits must be renewed prior to expiry every one to three years through the same process.
Changing jobs in Qatar can affect residential status. The employer who sponsors a Work Residence Permit is entitled to restrict their employee from joining another company, which means that the employee is ineligible to stay in Qatar until the end of the restriction period.
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