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JustHere | December 17, 2017

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[LEGAL COLUMN] Overworked, separated from family… Changing sponsorship and work contracts in Qatar

[Q] I am in Qatar on a work visa with my employer. However, due to untimely salary payment and other conditions, I want to switch over to another company. My residence permit has not been processed so far (medical test and fingerprinting is not over) and it has been 40 days since I landed in Doha.
What is the process for changing my sponsorship to another company?

[GD] According to article 22 of Law No.4 of 2009, regulating the entry, exit, residence and sponsorship of expatriates in Qatar, the competent authority (Human Rights Dept. at the MOI) can transfer the sponsorship under a written agreement between the new employer and the former employer, subject to consent of the Labour Department.
According to the same Law, the sponsor and the expatriate shall refer to the competent authorities within 7 days from the date of entry to the State to complete the procedures of the residence or work visa. The sponsor shall accomplish the residence procedures.

[Q] I have been working as Office Administrator for a company in Qatar from January 2007 to June 2013. I was staying with my family. My 10-month-old son was born here in Qatar and has a visa. My wife works at a private hospital with a limited salary. At present, I am on a family visit visa. I returned after cancelling my visa to look after my son. I had requested for a NOC while resigning from the company and my employer agreed to do so after six months. After six months, I was asked to wait for a year.
In my current situation, I require a NOC, as there is no one to care for my child. How can I obtain a NOC from my employer?
Now that my wife and child are leaving Doha on a one-month vacation and I have to go away with them as I’m under my wife’s sponsorship.
If I will not get NOC from my employer, I will have to wait for 3 months in my home country after which I can re-enter. What can I do to stay with my family?

[GD] According to Article 22 of Law No.4 of 2009, regulating the entry, exit, residence and sponsorship of expatriates in Qatar, the competent authority can transfer the sponsorship under a written agreement between the new employer and the former employer, subject to consent of the Labour Department.
You can request your current employer to provide you with an NOC, and if they give you the same you can come back after finding out a new employer. On the other hand if your current employer does not give you one, you will have to wait for one more year (if you left Qatar after visa cancellation in June 2013) since there is a ban for 2 years for your re-entry under Art. 4 of the same Law mentioned above.

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Important numbers

NHRC Hotline: 66626663
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Hotline: 8006611
Note: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs receive calls from 7am-2pm.

[Q] My employer filed a case against me when I tried to demand a NOC after I quit my job. I’m still under probation but I quit immediately because they did not provide me with the benefits that were stipulated in my employment contract. Am I required to pay the company because of the unfinished 2-year contract?

[GD] According to Article 39 of the Labour Law of Qatar, the probation period is to be agreed between the employer and the worker, provided that it shall not exceed six months and also the worker shall not be subject to more than one probation period. The employer can terminate the contract within the probation period, if it has been proved to him that the worker is not capable, by giving the worker at least 3 days’ notice before termination date.
During probation, a worker can quit the job, in which case notice period should also be complied with before leaving. As the employer already filed a case against you, you have to wait for the decision of the case. Providing you with an NOC or not is the discretion of the employer.

I actually work 84 hours a week and if I take a day off, that is deducted from my salary.

[Q] I have been working as a restaurant waiter for 6 months in Qatar. My employment contract stated my work hours to be 48 hours a week with 1 day off per week. But these terms are violated. I actually work 84 hours a week and if I take a day off, that is deducted from my salary. And I still don’t have my Qatar ID and haven’t had my medical test.
I’m planning to complain about my situation and that of my colleagues. I’d like to obtain a release from the company; what is the likelihood of me getting one?

[GD] From your query, it is very evident that there is a clear violation of Qatar Labour Law and the Law governing the entry & exit of expatriates. According to Article 73 of Qatar Labour law the maximum hours of work is 48 hours a week. The working hours shall include an interval or more for prayer, rest and meals and this interval shall not be less than one hour and the worker shall not work for more than five consecutive hours. According to Article 74 of Labour Law, a worker is required to work additionally if needed, but to a maximum of ten hours a day. The employer should pay the worker, his basic wage plus 25% thereof for additional hours. According to Article 75, the worker should get a holiday per week normally Friday, or an alternate day. If his work is necessary on Friday, he should be compensated with a basic wage plus an increase of not less than 150%.
According to Article 38 of Qatar Labour Law, the Service Contract should specify the nature and type of work, the agreed wages for the work etc. Since your contract states your work hours to be 48 hours a week, you can approach the Labour Department under the Ministry of Labour for breach of the employment contract.
It is the duty of your sponsor to complete the procedures of the residence or work visa within the stipulated time.
For getting release you have to find out a new sponsor or employer to work with and the competent authority can transfer the sponsorship under a written agreement between both the employers.

[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”1″ position =”none” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]Ghada M. Darwish law firm is established by an experienced Qatari lawyer. Ms Darwish, currently a PhD candidate at Cairo University, graduated from Qatar University with a Bachelor of Law degree. Her experience includes working at the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Qatar University and Qatar Chemical Company Ltd. Ms Darwish is ably assisted by lawyers with different backgrounds and qualifications offering many decades of lawyering expertise in the Middle East and beyond. For more information, visit or call 44889050. Note: If you have a query, please leave a comment. The queries, if not already covered in this or an earlier piece, will be addressed in subsequent installments of the legal column.[/boxify]

Note: If you have a query, please leave a comment. The queries, if not already covered in this or an earlier piece, will be addressed in subsequent installments of the legal column.

Previous Columns: On Gratuity and Benefits, On Visas and Sponsorships,  Leave benefits, termination and working hours

Next: Answers to queries we have received on previous columns

Disclaimer: Neither the law firm of Advocate Ghada Darwish nor JustHere is responsible for actions taken on information mentioned here. All efforts have been taken to provide accurate response to the queries.


  1. dharshan pm


  2. i have been working in qatar for two years, as a receptionist. i already finish my contract my boss grant me a noc. but i have expired visa and rp.? can i apply a new job with my cutrent situation or do i need to as my previous employer to new my visa.? thanks

  3. crocs

    I have friend works at saloon for five years.. And working 11 hrs. A day w/o overtime.. She was realy tired with no health benefits as well.. She wants to end her contract by November however the company will not provide the ticket.. As a clear violation to her contract she wants to appeal instead of giving her an NOC. And she wants to know what are the benefits she can get.. Her employer is giving it prior to the departure time and you cannot complain bcuz you are leaving Qatar..

  4. Asgar Raza

    My name Asgar Raza, I have been working here since sep 2011 and I have not availed any leave yet. since 5 months continuous i telling to them that i need vacation but they told me you can’t go your country because your name as witness of someone case.I don’t know about case. Already I visit in labor court but they not taken action. I feel like i’m trapped in qatar

    ​I’ve gotten PCC(Exit Permit) I want to go india with in one week, How to collect passport, ticket , salary and bonus form sponsor.I have already informed them(sponsor) but they not responding. Could you please suggest to me what should i do.​

  5. Marko


    I have been working in Doha since 1st of August 2014…I still haven’t signed the contract although I finished the medical,blood type and finger print but all documents and passport are with me.I also have to translate and verify my certificate(diploma) as company said they need it for residence application.
    I considering to leave the employer and look for another one but I am not sure if I need NOC?? since I have completed medical and finger print but original documents are with me likewise paasport…

  6. San

    Dear Sir,

    December 27 – 2014 i will complete 3 years in my company. I don’t want to renew my ID. I will give resignation one month before. I would like to know one i resign the company how many day will take to cancel my visa. I heard about that employer will keep us 3 month more in Qatar after expiry of ID. Please advise me.

  7. roshan

    My contract is 2years but my sponsor trying to cancel me only 8 month finish please give me answer what can I do qatar Labour low

  8. SMRA

    Dears, I need your help,

    I’m a Civil Eng. working for my company from more than 1 year and I start in UAE. On past September my company transfers me to Qatar with my family. I have already a Qatar ID. Recently due to some incompatibilities of opinions and some invalid reasons they decide to terminate the working contract with me and I accept since I was already thinking to leave by my own. So far they will not object to gives NOC and even recommendation letter. My question is based on some rumors I had listen and is the following, if I work for a company in Qatar for less than 1 year and as per the Qatari law the NOC will be not valid to work for another company??? I need your help please to clarify this question because I was looking already for other companies and to keep working in Qatar. Thanks in advance.

    • bharathi

      Hi sir its bharathi ….. I am a civil engineer.. I am in Qatar .. can u help me to get a job in Qatar. . My mob number .30402985. .
      Mail id

  9. Venugopal

    Hi my name is venugopal.i am came to qatar for job searching by visit visa(3 months) work-bussiness on 11-28-2014 (nov 28.2014) .at that time my sponser said i will give noc also but now he saying noc giving not possible .. But now i got a good job the company want noc to transfer visa to present sponser to their company.

    What do i do
    If i go back to india can i come again work bussiness visa noc available sponear..
    If i go india in how many days my new visit visa will issue. In how many days may i come to qatar again
    Is there any problem moving on this process
    I need noc must other wise I lose my job.

    Simply rightnow i want to go back india then i come back again by new visit visa work- bussiness with noc availability sponser. New sponser noc will submit in my company. how much time take to issue my visit visa does i am thinking rihgt or wrong please answer me..

  10. Lonely Girl DOha

    I am new in HR in Doha. I would like to know if an employee terminated for violation of company rules and regulations (example, being drunk or under the influence of drugs) is entitled to a return ticket to his home country. I understand that employees whose contracts are terminated by employers for non-renewal should be sent back home with return ticket, but for those terminated for just cause, I am not sure. Please enlighten me.

  11. Krishna G.T

    Dear Sir/Madam

    i would like to ask you i have been working under one sponsor (contracting company) since 2007 (nine year running now) i want to joint LS CABLE SYSTEM company with good salary,facilities,i am now working LS CABLE SYSTEM which hired by my currently company can i joint without NOC any legal system in QATAR labor law? please give me replay

  12. Muralinarayanan

    I am working in my company past 4 years,at present i need to join in other company why because they are giving good salary package as compared to my company.But visa is still valid in the Ex sponcer. can i go with exit and come with business visit its possible work with other sponcer. There is any legal advice.kindly brief.

  13. Ravi

    Sir, is ther any ban who completed medical and finger in qatar,but not signed contract and offer letter ..

  14. Heidi

    Hi, i worked in qatar for 11 months as a general cleaner but my employer terminate me for no reason, now I’m back in the Philippines i want to go back and work in qatar.please help me..

  15. Tom Finn


    I’m a journalist with Reuters news agency in Qatar. I am writing an article about people who are working here in Qatar and want to leave but can’t because of issues with their employer. If anyone is willing to talk to me and share their experience please send me an email:

    Thank you,


  16. Shoaib

    I have worked here in Qatar and have terminated from company. Again after few months I applied the visit to come here in Qatar and I also got my visit visa on time but at time of travel, immigration didn’t allow me to travel. Please advise me what’s reason behind it,

    I am looking forward to hear from you.

    Thank You!

  17. Rabin

    I’m working in Qatar for last 10 months.Now my father had an very serious health issue and my parents wants my help right now but my company don’t let me to go.Is there any legal method that I can go home?
    Swift reply please its an emergency…

  18. Cerilo Montebon


    I am Cerilo Montebon from Philippines, I worked in Bonne Maniere Catering for about 7 days only, I started my work Last October 8,2016, I came here for the offer letter stated where I was applied in my agency which is Sales with a minimum salary of 1,400Qtr, how come that my Visa was stated as waiter position with a minimum of 1,800qtr but instead of Sales.. The company assigned me in canteen/ cafeteria as food server, bussboy, sandwichmaker all around, that’s why i had to ask the HR manager why I am here? I thought i will be assigned in sales.. As they can scan my CV i don’t have the line in Food and Beverage.. My skills is lined up on sales. I informed already my agency in the Philippines but i dont see any action.Last October 15, the HR manager called me to report in his office, at that time he ask me if what is my problem, then i told him my concern, but he suddenly said to me, ” stop working and Go home to your country” I was shocked, i was hurt and now I’m in my accomodation waiting for thier ticket which they provide for me.. With this, I would like to seek a help from your side,what can I do? Do I have a rights to complaint? Please help me..

    Best regards,

    Cerilo Montebon

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