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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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What you need to know about working in Qatar without company sponsorship

Qatar’s growth is attracting thousands of professionals to its shores; While they come sponsored by their employers, there is an auxiliary pool of professionals who come along with them – the spouses and adult children, who relocate for familial reasons, but have credible professional qualifications that suits the opportunities in the market.

As per Qatari law, they are allowed to work, but it’s mandatory to be registered under the labour department.
Employers are required to legalise the employment of its employees even if they do not sponsor them directly. There are differences in the way this is treated for male and female employees.
Female employees who are sponsored by their father or husband only require a work permit.
However, male employees are required by law to transfer their sponsorship to the employer. Female employees may choose to transfer to the employer’s sponsorship, if both parties are in agreement.

Work permit
The work permit is an essential part of being employed in Qatar. If you have been in your current job for more than three months, then you should probably have a card or must at least be in the process of obtaining one. This card, issued by the Ministry of Labour is the Qatar government’s way of documenting your status as a full-time or part-time employee of an organisation in Qatar.

Application requirements
It is the employer’s responsibility to apply and bear the expenses (QR500 per annum, per permit) of acquiring a work permit for its employees. To compile an application package, employers usually require the following materials from the employee based on the designation of the employee:

  • A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsor (parent/husband/wife) with a copy of his or her Qatar ID
  • A translated copy of his or her educational certificate/diploma attested by their respective Embassy and the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Police clearance certificate attested by their respective embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • A copy of his or her passport
  • Copy of Qatar ID
  • Copy of the Residence Permit (available in the passport)
  • Employment Contract

The work permit usually takes 15 working days to be processed by the Ministry of Labour. For the transfer of sponsorship process, it is a 10-day process once all documents are submitted.

Fines/Penalties
The Ministry of Labour usually performs surprise inspections on organizations. There is a penalty of QR10,000 if an employee is found to be working without a permit. While this is the responsibility of the employer, in the event the employee has not co-operated in fulfilling the process, she would be held liable too.

Allowances
Several of the allowances afforded to sponsored employees are not by law mandatory for those on family sponsorship. This includes annual flight tickets and HRA. However, end of service benefits do not differ.
But many companies do not differentiate between sponsored and non-sponsored full-time employees when it comes to allowances.

Freelancing
Many organisations, particularly those in the publishing, service and creative sectors, hire freelance or part-time staff.
A freelancing agreement is signed between two parties – the employer and the freelancing employee. For this, the freelancer is required to submit an NOC from his sponsor. If he is employed in a full-time or part-time job currently, then he is required to provide an NOC from this employer too.

All due diligence has been carried out in compiling this article. However, if you find any discrepancies, please email us at editorial@justhere.qa

We address various aspects of Working in Qatar in this series, including finance, laws, HR development. Write to us if there is a particular subject you are interested in and would like to read about.

Comments

  1. Do you know how the government legally defines a freelancer?
    -Are oral freelance agreements considered legal?
    – Can a woman who has a small business from home, be considered a freelancer for herself?

    An article focusing on the details and legal issues of being a freelancer in Qatar would be interesting as there is a lot of mis/information going around.

    • JustHere Qatar

      Dear Christine,
      There is no provision in the labour law for freelance work. This is an understanding between the employer and freelancer.
      If there is any financial dealings required for your business then it’s best to register it.
      We have spoken extensively to HR professionals and lawyers, and freelancing is not covered by the law.
      Team JH

  2. A wife under husband sponsorship can get a labor permit even she is college undergraduate, 6 units left. But has transcript of record attested in Embassy

    A wife under husband sponsorship can get a labor permit even she is college undergraduate, 6 units left. But has transcript of record attested.

  3. Dear Sir,

    I have been working in Qatar for the same company since 9 years, recently I have an offer from KAHRAMAA, but my company is not willing to provide NOC. NOC requirement is still applicable from a private firm to joining into a Government entity. Please advise.

  4. ZENOBY

    Good Day!!

    I was working here in Qatar for more than 3years, recently I was hired by a government company here in Qatar..Just wondering if NBI Clearance or Police clearance from home country is still needed to complete the transfer of sponsorship??

    Thanks,,

  5. somar

    can i get an employer in Qatar without educational certificate i have 3 years experience as technician in dubai.

  6. Anna

    Hi, thanks for your articles, they are always very useful!
    I live in Qatar and received the sponsorship through my husband’s employer.
    I have been offered by a European company (that has just opened a branch in Qatar) to run a recruitment project here on a freelance basis.
    What is the process to become a freelance worker? Is enough just an agreement between me and the employer?

    Thank you

  7. Dom

    Good day! im new here in qatar. I just got hired and Im about to start.I am under my wife’s sponsorship. My employer agreed that I stay under my wife’s sponsorship but they are asking me to provide them an NOC from my wife stating her approval of me working in that company. Is it alright to provide them NOC?Im just worried that they might use it to transfer my sponsorship under them.My wife and I just want to maintain the benefits she’s getting from her company that is why it is more favorable for me to stay under her sponsorship while working.Thanks for the help.

  8. Acountant

    Do you have any form for labor agreement to apply labor card ?

  9. Ana

    Working in private company under husband sponsorship with working permit from the employer needs an exit permit when going out of Qatar for a vacation?

    Please advise. Thank you.

  10. Asjath Qatar

    I need to much summary about follow you article
    “”Freelancing
    Many organisations, particularly those in the publishing, service and creative sectors, hire freelance or part-time staff.
    A freelancing agreement is signed between two parties – the employer and the freelancing employee. For this, the freelancer is required to submit an NOC from his sponsor. If he is employed in a full-time or part-time job currently, then he is required to provide an NOC from this employer too.””

    I already join a company with my visa(NOC) and they changed visa to under their sponsor. So later and if i asked any transfer from same sponsor(Work) to new one,Should they given to NOC or Are they have any ISSUES in Qatar Law.

    Kindly Update Mate’s..

  11. Kamorudeen

    Good Morning,
    My name is kamorudeen, I am working with the federal government of Nigeria,
    I have 3 years working experience as Mechanical Maintenance Engineer,I want to relocate to Qatar because I want to be working in this country, please can you advise me on this, what is the possibility of securing a job in Qatar?

  12. wasantha sudarshana

    dear sir
    i have more problems in my company. my English knowledge is not good. i want go to my country (Sri Lanka).i coming to qatar 2014.28.october. for only vehical stickering. Bt now i have meny works. No Over time. not sign agriment. my boss shouting every time. My mentally not good.Plz i want go TO MY COUNTRY.plz help me……plz

  13. Werner

    Hi Sukanya

    I have been offered a position at a local based firm and am currently on my wife’s sponsorship. The company got in touch with the labour dept and was told that they are not handing out work permits if the sponsor is the wife.

    The company therefore wants to retract the offer as I won’t be able to work here “legally”. Do you know of recent legislation changes and whether this is true? Alternatively, are there other options I can consider?

    Your assistance will be appreciated!

  14. Nair Jiju

    Hai,

    My wife is working under my sponsorship with work permit.Now she got an offer from other company.but her previous employer is not willing to cancel the work permit .How can we get new work permit.

  15. Pritha Bose

    Hi

    I am in Qatar on my Husband’s sponsorship. I am planning to start a home based business. Can you please tell me whether I am allowed to do so and what all permits will I need.

    Thanks

  16. Rose

    Hi I am under my husband’s sponsorship and was working for a company with their labor card. Recently I resigned and surrendered my labour card with the old company. Now I am working with a new company. Now i want to know what are the documents required to apply for a labour card in the new company.

  17. James

    I live in Qatar and received the sponsorship through my husband’s employer.
    I have been offered by a European company to run a recruitment project here on a freelance basis. They are not based here yet.
    What is the process to become a freelance worker? Is enough just an agreement between me and the employer? Do I need a labour card/work permit for part time work?

    Thanks

  18. Monica

    Hi I am a doctor and now here in Qatar under sponsorship of my husband. I have a resident permit.I wish to work here. Do I need to get exit visa if I work. What are the chances I will get a job here.
    Regards
    Monica

  19. john cola

    my name is john.please i will like to get a reliable job sponsorer in qatar

  20. Sreelakshmy

    Hi,
    Im working in a reputed company for (3 months)in Qatar under husbands sponsership.

    During my interview They told, I dont want to wear uniform since Im under my own visa.
    Now they are compeling me to put uniform which Im not comfortable and My husband too dont want me to. This is a car rental company Only 2 ladies are here including me. Rest of all are men which included drivers cleaners and all..

    Plus Im Facing a lot of other issues here.
    May I know what are the rules n regulations for an employee under husbnads sponsership.

  21. Sreelakshmy

    Please Is there any particular rules and regulations for those who are working under husbands sponsership.

  22. Anna S

    Hello, I have been working in Qatar, since 9 months ago. I have signed a letter that my husband not allowed to work in Qatar under my sponsorship. He is now able to get a job outside of Qatar, selling goods and foods. He wants to sell and import goods and foods into Qatar, working for company based overseas.
    Is he able to work, and practice from home! does he need a work permit? Will this affect his sponsorship?

  23. angelica

    Good Day! i would like to ask for
    advise regarding my situation. i am under husband sponsorship. i am employed to this to my conpany since 2011 under indefinite contract. on may of 2015 i was promoted and together with my promotion i have change of salary. in that paper written is contract pf 3 years. now i’m planning to resign to transfer to a new job. upon giving my reaignation paper they told me that since it is breach of contract, when i resign they will not give me my license and employment certificate and good standing certificate. is this possible? please i need advise on this.

  24. Hello Sir,

    I am Sonia and working in a private company under my Husband sponsorship, i have working permit from employer needs an exit permit when going out of qatar for vocation? Please guide me i am waiting your reply.

  25. hello,
    i am working under husband sponsorship, and now i am willing to change my job company so please tell me what should i do?

  26. Anome

    Hi There

    I work for a government organization and haven’t had the need for a labor card. But now I am planning on immigrating to Australia, and they are asking for a proof of authorization to work in Qatar as my id card says, housewife. How can I obtain this labor card myself as my employer does not require this as they are a government organization? I went to the labor department, and they said that my employer has to apply for it. I am a bit confused about what to do.

    Thank you for your help

  27. ZEK

    HI I M WORKING IN A PRIVATE COMPANY SINCE 2014 ON BUSINESS WORK VISA I DID RESIGN FROM MY COMPANY CAN I GET THE AND OF SERVICE BENEFIT , GRATUITY AS PER QATAR LAW

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