Recent reports suggest that there is an ever-increasing possibility of visa restrictions for non-Muslim visitors to visit or live in Qatar. This could include job visas, residence permits, and even tourism visas!
Many people are talking about it now, but what does this actually mean? What can you do if this happens to you?
It’s very important to be prepared for any situation. Information and preparation will help you deal with the situation more effectively. So here we will talk about whether Qatari employment visa is open right now, as well as some things you should know.
Is Qatar employment visa open right now?
The short answer is… probably not yet. The long answer is complicated, so let’s go through all the information before coming to a conclusion.
What makes up an employment visa in Qatar?
An employment visa allows you to work either independently (without a manager) or as part of a team. It also usually covers housing and transportation costs while you are living and working in Qatar.
There are two main types of employment visa: seasonal and permanent. A seasonal visa only lasts one season – typically around six months. Many employers use these temporary visas to provide staff during busy times of the year.
A longer term visa (usually around 6–12 months) is considered a ‘permanent’ position.
There is one major exception to this rule, which is for students. If you are studying in Qatar, then your employment visa does not require residency or proof of funding. However, you must make sure that you have adequate savings so that you can live here after graduation!
This is very important as most international universities do not offer scholarship programs in Qatar. Most schools will provide assistance with living costs while you study, but it may be difficult to survive once classes end and tuition fees stop rolling in.
So if you’re thinking about spending all your money on education, remember that these things don’t last forever! Luckily, many people have gone through the same process as you and left with helpful tips.
We prepared some information and resources for you below.
As of May 2018, there is no need for an employment visa to work in Qatar. All foreign workers must be either working or studying abroad from here so they can obtain permanent residency status within six months.
Qatar’s Ministry of Labor has made it very easy to apply for this permit by themselves. They will handle all the paperwork and interviews for you! The only thing that requires your attention is that you have to pay a processing fee of 5,000 Qatari Riyals (approximate price $1,250 USD at the time of writing).
This cost does not include any other fees such as medical exams or home visits, which some employers require. Your employer may also choose to reimburse these costs if they are covered under their health insurance plan or if you earn enough money per month.
Once again, this article contains strong opinions about the country and its people. We hope you enjoy reading it but please use common sense and try to keep things civilised.
We would love to hear your stories too – feel free to comment below and on our social media pages.
The first thing you need to know about working in Qatar is that your passport must be valid at least six months beyond your intended stay. This includes if you are given an initial job, or if your employer decides to give you another position later!
You also have to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably while living here. It’s not uncommon to earn very little money during your first few weeks/months of employment, but it is important to save some money until you find more stable sources of income.
Qatar has a very expensive cost of living, even just considering food alone! Health care is also quite expensive, so do not forget to factor those costs into yours.
If all these things are guaranteed, then you can start looking into visas for work. But remember, only people who are really qualified should consider applying, as there could be a lot of rejection slips.
There is always something to do in the Middle East. With its large population, there’s an endless amount of jobs for professionals and careerists looking to climb their ladder.
Qatar offers many employment chances for those with appropriate work permits or visas. Some examples include working as a doctor, teacher, engineer, accountant, etc.
However, due to visa restrictions, it can be tricky finding out whether or not employment is allowed. The best way to find out if you’re able to work here legally is by talking to people who have worked here before!
There are several ways to gain entry level knowledge about working in Qatar. You can talk to friends and family that have worked here, research local Qatari business directories, read online comments and testimonials, and speak with representatives from international organisations such as the UN.
Average salaries in this country vary quite a bit depending on what position you're in and where you work. The general rule is that higher up the ladder, your salary will be more significant than those lower down. This means senior management and directors can make well into the six-figure range per year!
For example, an Operations Manager makes around $80K per annum or so they say. Given that most employers don't publicly disclose their payroll data, there's no way to verify if this information is accurate. However, we do know that Doha has some of the highest income inequality levels in the world. So it seems reasonable to assume that these managers earn enough to live comfortably.
The vast majority of employees in Qatar are employed through employment agencies. As such, there isn't much direct contact with individual company members outside of meetings and gatherings. That said, there are some instances where individuals connect directly with other team members or even the owner of the business.
Even though Qatari employers are trying their best to be as open-minded and hire diversity of people, it is still not easy for everyone.
Qatar has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. There’s a reason why there are so many advertisements seeking staff all over the country!
Employers are looking for workers with at least a college degree, no criminal history, and no health issues that would prevent them from working. If you don’t have any of these things, then you’re probably going to need to reconsider your options if moving abroad is what you really want.
Finding work outside the home isn’t just hard in Qatar, but it can also be very expensive. A non-emergency medical consultation costs around 200 QAR (about $50 USD) and an emergency visit can easily cost 1,000 or more per person.
For someone living on a budget, this can add up quickly unless you're rich. And even if you were, most employers will require you to spend money on drinks or meals during the interview process to ensure they feel confident hiring you.
Another concern some employers may have is if the country is able to retain experienced staff given their employment visa status. Qatari companies typically use foreign workers with at least two years’ experience, so there is no need for an employment visa unless you already have one in this situation.
However, it seems increasingly difficult to find these professionals who can prove they have lived and worked in Qatar for more than six months. Many expats live and work outside of Doha while also holding an appropriate working visa, but most people don’t know about it or can’t remember ever being asked whether they had such documentation.
This could be due to the fact that many countries issue passports which automatically include proof of residency, or because employees are not made aware of the requirement until well after they arrive. It could also simply be that individuals don’t keep documents proving they were paid for past jobs, making it hard to show they are still employed even though they say they are.
Whatever the reason, Qatari employers are becoming less willing to offer employment to people without proof of residence beyond the initial probation period. Some take up to a year before receiving permission to start looking for work, during which time they can face significant challenges in finding somewhere to stay and money to survive.
Given how expensive living in Qatar is, this can put pressure on those who might otherwise choose to remain.
Recent reports claim that there is not enough proof to show that Qatari nationals working in Saudi Arabia will be able to return home safely. Many of these rumors seem to come from people who are disgruntled at being laid off or having their employment contract terminated, making them spread false information about what happens to employees after they leave the country.
It is very important to remember that just because someone else has heard stories about something does NOT make it true! Only things with legal consequences actually happen. And even then, only some countries offer limited protections under labor laws.
So before you assume anything, do your research by talking to current workers, employers in both countries, and international organizations.