As you may be aware, Qatar recently hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Many professionals who visited the country as tourists during the tournament may be interested in living and working there. The truth is that it is very possible.
HE Ahmad Al Horr, Chargé d’Affaires at the Qatar Embassy in Nigeria, stated a few months ago that the country wants to hire more Nigerian professionals, particularly engineers, doctors, and others.
With the recent Labor Law amendments introduced by the government, obtaining a work permit is simple. More information is provided below.
The Residence and Work Permit: All newcomers wishing to work and live in Qatar require a Work Residence Permit (commonly referred to as an RP) for which they would need a Qatari employer (company or individual).
- It is typically the responsibility of the employer to handle all paperwork required to obtain the Residence Permit on behalf of the expatriate (foreign worker). When the expatriate first enters Qatar, their employer will arrange for a temporary visa which is then converted to a Work Residency Permit. This is a process that typically takes 2-4 weeks and sometimes longer. Applicants may not leave the country during the period of visa-to-permit conversion.
- Once an expatriate receives the Work Residence Permit, he or she can then access many other services, apply for further permits and licenses, sign a rental accommodation agreement, apply for a loan, and others.
- Another key benefit of the Residence Permit is that it allows the worker to personally sponsor their immediate family members (spouse, sons, daughters) to join them and live in Qatar.
- The wife of the work permit holder can work in Qatar, by registering in Recruitment Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs.
- Work Residence Permits are renewed annually by the expatriate’s employer.
Foreign workers in Qatar: Foreigners may work in Qatar under different employers. These foreigners (expatriates) can change their employers after completing the employment contract inside the country or the employer terminates the contract without any legal sanctions on the expatriate. The expatriate shall complete five years or more with the same employer, in case the contract term is undefined.
In the case of undefined contracts, the approval of the current employer on moving to work for another employer is required if the expatriate is seeking to terminate the current contract without completing its term.
Working hours in Qatar: The maximum number of working hours allowed without overtime pay is 48 hours per week but is reduced to 36 per week during the month of Ramadan.
Workers are entitled to at least one day of rest per week which is commonly Friday except for those who handle shift work. No employee can work two or more Fridays in a row.
About Qatar: Qatar is a peninsular Arab country located between the sea and desert. It is the first Arab country to host FIFA World Cup 2022.
Qatar is a rich country having one of the world’s largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas and employs large numbers of foreign workers in its production process. Because of its oil wealth, the residents enjoy a high standard of living and a well-established system of social services. This is reflected in the country’s investments and infrastructure, especially in its capital, Doha which is a city full of modern and luxurious buildings. Arabic is the official language but English is widely spoken.