Employing a maid is not just a luxury for wealthy families but is also a popular choice for many middle class families living in Qatar. Here are the main points and procedures to know before hiring a maid in Qatar :
- It is illegal for a single man to hire a live-in-maid.
- A married man, looking to hire a maid for his family, should first obtain an NOC from the maid’s current employer for taking over her sponsorship, or can hire a new maid from abroad.
- You cannot sponsor a live-in full time maid, until you have worked/lived in Doha for at least six months. You will have to produce 6 months of bank statements to obtain approval for hiring a live-in maid.
India does not allow its nationals to be employed as maids in Qatar- approved nationalities for maids include Nepalese, Indonesian, Phillipina, Ethiopian and Sri Lankan.
The minimum salary will depend on the maid’s nationality, which is based on the agreement between Qatari government and relevant embassy. Besides housing, you may have to accommodate the maid’s additional expenses of food, clothing and optional extras. Also, you will have to obtain a health card for her, which should be renewed every two years.
On the whole, as a sponsor, you are largely responsible for the behaviour and welfare of your maid.
There are agencies that can help you with the process, saving you all the tiresome paper works, apart from the fact that you can return your maid and seek a new one if she doesn’t work out.
When hiring a full-time maid, you are legally obligated to offer sponsorship, as per Qatari law. You have two options :
- Choose to recruit a maid directly from her home country and bring her to Qatar under your sponsorship, OR
- Choose a maid in Qatar and transfer her sponsorship from her present employer to your sponsorship. However, for this, she should have completed at least one year of service with her present employer.
Sponsorship should be taken seriously, and remember that you will be held entirely responsible for your maid’s welfare and behaviour when she is under your sponsorship. Also, you are responsible for bearing the repatriation costs of your maid, back to her home country, in case you choose to terminate her contract.
Required documents for hiring a maid from abroad
The documents required are:
- NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your company / employer to hire maid servant
- Copy of husband, wife and children’s valid Resident Permit
- Copy of husband, wife and children’s passport
- Copy of marriage certificate
- Bank Statement with salary transfer of six months.
An application for hiring a maid may have to be submitted for approval at the Immigration Department, and at a certain point, you will be told if you are eligible to sponsor a maid, and if so, the nationality of maid that you are allowed to employ.
Applications can be rejected for various reasons- size of family, whether one parent will be working or at home during the day,
Once you have received the approval to hire a maid from outside Qatar or within Qatar, the visa procedure can start.
When undertaking all of these yourselves under personal sponsorship, it may take up to two months for you to complete the whole paper works to be processed. If the hiring is done through your company, the PRO of your company may help you in processing all the paperwork.
Or else, there are Maid Recruitment Agencies to handle the entire process, although it may be a bit more expensive option. Further, when hiring through agencies, there are added benefits such as two-year contracts, 3 month trial period, and maid replacements done free of charge.
On obtaining the visa approval, you should send her a copy of her visa and contract, before obtaining her airline ticket. Upon arrival, maid will have to undergo medical testing to check for TB, HIV, pregnancy and fingerprinting.
When hiring a maid through an agency
If you plan to hire a maid from abroad, there are several agencies that could help you in the process. An agency provides you with a list of candidates to choose from, their references and information about work history.
The agency even take up the task of arranging flights, visas, residence permits, and do all the paper works on behalf of your chosen maid. You will have to pay a one-time sum to the agency to cover all of the costs, and their service fee. The entire process may take about one to three months.
Your maid will be offered a standard contract term of two years, with three month probation period. In case of any differences encountered during probation, you and your maid can opt out of the arrangement. In such a case, the agency will find a replacement maid with no extra cost. However, trial period is a set time frame and does not start over with your replacement maid.
When hiring a maid locally
You can also find someone who is already in the country with a transferable visa. However, you have to ensure that this visa status is legal, and that the current sponsor has no issues with the transfer.
If you cannot fine any recommendations from friends, you may place advertisements in classifieds, websites or supermarket notice-boards. When interviewing candidates, ensure that you directly speak to the maid, and not a broker or third party. You should also clarify their sponsorship and visa status.
When taking over the maid’s sponsorship, you will have to submit an application with the Department of Immigration. For this, you may need to fill out an application form and provide all supporting documents such as the letter of NOC from your sponsor/employer, your ID card and passport copies, along with maid’s ID and passport, and letter of NOC from the maid’s releasing sponsor.
The minimum wages for maids are set by the government and varies depending on the nationality of the maid you hire. It is determined together with the relevant embassy, and is quoted as a monthly amount in both Qatari Riyals and US Dollars.
The average base is around QR750 a month, but monthly salaries of live-maids can vary from QR900 to QR2500 a month, apart from a flight ticket home every two years. Usually western expat employers pay well above this amount. Hiring a part time maid can cost QR35 to QR45 an hour, apart from transport costs.
Termination of employment
At the end of contract period, you may have to render all costs towards your maid’s repatriation, including flights. You can apply to the government to get visa extension if you wish to continue keeping the maid for longer duration than the original contract term, or you could find her a new sponsor.
As a sponsor you would be responsible for all expenses associated with visa, passport and residency renewals during her employment with you.
Agency contacts for part-time services
If you want to contract with an agency that provides part time services, here are a few local companies you can contact:
- Qatar Maid Services – Tel : 44413462
- Fresh Maid Services – Tel : 44120441
- Qatar Gateway – Tel : 44181999
- Qatar Maid Agency – Tel : 44271197
- Jassim Services – Tel : 44868889
- Swiss Label Maids – Tel : 44420238 / 66704333
- Qatar Maids – Tel : 77362999