In Qatar, you need a visa to work in the country or if you are a spouse or family member of someone who works there, then you will also need a visa.
In order to process your visa you will need a Qatari national, or a Qatari business, to sponsor you. As all businesses in Qatar are owned by citizens of Qatar it is normally your new employer who will be your sponsor.
Once you have secured employment your new employer will apply for a NOC certificate for you and this will then be stamped onto your passport before entering Doha Airport.
You must have this before you can enter the country. Once this is done you then need to apply for a residence Visa and this normally takes two to six weeks and if you have to leave the country during this period you will have to start all over again.
A residency visa lasts for two years but sometimes it may only be granted for six months. Renewing it is normally fairly straight forward once you do it before the old one expires.
It is safest to keep track of your expiry date and submit your passport to renew your visa at least one month before it is required. You can also get the form at the post office but you must then fill it out in Arabic and include the appropriate documents and payment with the completed application form. You will then have to collect it when it is ready.
Sponsors are also obliged to make sure their sponsored individuals abide by local laws but if they don’t they can and will be prosecuted accordingly. There is no alcohol allowed anywhere in Qatar. A working spouse can also sponsor his wife and children to gain entry into the country.
A medical is also required for entry into the country the company you work for will arrange this for you and let you know what you will require for the process. The Medical Commission is responsible for all medicals and they have specific queuing arrangements and separate areas for men and women. You will require QR100 for payment.
Keep your receipt as you will need this for collecting your results.
You will have to have both a HIV and a TB test done. Your examination will also require an x-ray and a blood test. Before you leave check that you have had all the necessary tests completed. Normally results will be available within three days.
About a week after this you will be asked to go for finger prints of your fingers and palms. Your employer will then submit the results of your medical exam, your finger prints and your passport for your residency application. When this has been completed you will then need to go to the Immigration Department to pick it up yourself.
Please, note that requirements are often subject to change and it is recommended to check latest changes at the Visa Section of the Qatar Embassy of the country where you currently live.
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