Residence Permit Renewal Policies in Qatar
A residence permit, also known as RP, allows expatriates to stay and work in Qatar. It provides them with eligibility to a range of government services.
The employer/sponsor is the one who usually handles the process of obtaining the RP, on behalf of the individual.
If you are an expat currently employed in the country, but your RP has not yet been renewed by your employer after its expiry date, chances are you may find difficulties in switching jobs in Qatar.
You may not be bothered yet as there is a grace period of 90 days or 3 months for your sponsor to renew it. But, what if the extension to revalidate your permit has ended? What happens if your employer does not renew your RP? Can you still transfer to a new company?
Read the below conditions according to the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs (MADLSA):
1. You will be required to pay the penalty.
When the RP expires, the employer/sponsor is authorized to renew the expat's RP within 3 months without paying a fine. However, if this has not been settled within the grace period, the RP holder will be obliged to pay the penalty, which is 10 QAR per day.
2. Your employer will face legal charges.
According to Hukoomi, MoI allows individuals and companies in Qatar to renew residence permits online for 1 to 3 years. The service is available for Qataris, residents, and companies holding Qatari Smart ID Cards. RPs renewal can be made 3 months prior to the expiry date.
Failure of the employer to proceed residence permit and renewal procedures within the specified period not exceeding 90 days from the expiry date, he/she will be fined up to 10,000 QAR.
Changing Jobs in Qatar with Expired RPs
As an expat, you can only transfer to a new sponsor if your RP is valid or within 90 days from the date of expiry unless it expired for reasons which are not under your control.
You will be able to change your work organisation (even within 90 days from the date of expiry) of your RP, according to the latest ministerial decision published in the official gazette in September 2020.
This came in the decision of the MoI No. 51 of 2020 amending some provisions of executive regulations of the Law No. 21 of 2015 about regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residency.
The decision was published in the Official Gazette of the State of Qatar numbered 15. The Gazette was posted on Twitter by the MoJ.
As per the amended article No. 65, the work organisation of the expatriate will be changed according to the rules and regulation in this regard.
Here are the new policies based on the amendment:
According to the amended article No. 67, the employer who requested to hire an expatriate worker temporarily will submit an additional contract – in case of hiring a worker temporarily (ayara) – to the main job contract signed by employer and expatriate worker which will be endorsed by the Labor Ministry.
The expatriate will notify the department concerned at the MADLSA following the procedures in this regard.
Is your RP still valid and within the grace period? You can still change jobs in Qatar. And, if you are ready for your job hunt, start searching for more job opportunities in Doha available online.
Switching Jobs in Doha with Cancelled RPs
Cancellation of Residence Permit (RP)
An employer/sponsor can cancel your RP any time at his/her own discretion. Once your RP is cancelled, you are allowed to stay in the country for only 30 days.
Valid RP for persons under a company or personal sponsorships can be cancelled online.
How do I know if my RP is cancelled?
You can check the validity of your RP via the MOI's website.