Job change in Qatar possible only if ‘exact visa’ is available


Expatriates seeking to change jobs in Qatar can be recruited by only those companies that have the visa for the same nationality, gender and profession as that of the candidate, Gulf Times has reported.

According to Law No. 21 of 2015 on the Entry, Exit and Residency of Foreign Nationals that came into force on December 13, 2016, migrant workers who have completed the stipulated tenure with their current employers are eligible for change of jobs.

Proper vacancy is needed

But according to clarifications issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), the change can be effected only if a proper vacancy is available.

  • For example, a “Indian male accountant” who wants to leave his current employer and join another firm can be hired only by a company that has the approval for employing a “Indian male accountant”.

These and other conditions and regulations for changing employers and leaving the country are specified in a notice issued by the MADLSA on its website. Here is the text from the notice:

Conditions and Regulations for changing the employer

  • The new employer should have an approval of the same nationality, gender and profession
  • There should be no restrictions against the new employer that would stop the change
  • There should be a notice submitted by the worker 30 days before the contract comes to an end if it is a fixed–term contract
  • If the contract is an open-ended contract, the worker should stay not less than five years in service and notice period would be as follows
    • 30 days, if the duration of service is five years
    • 60 days, if the duration of service is more than five years
  • The age should not be above 60 years old
  • Target sector (Private Sector)
  • In case of arbitrariness or conciliation , please attach what proves it
  • All applications and approvals are subject to all terms and conditions announced by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs
  • If you come across any problems or technical issues , please contact the technical support at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs: 40288888

Notice period

Those who are on fixed-term contracts and want to join a new firm should submit a notice of 30 days (before the contract comes to an end), according to the MADLSA.

If an employment contract is open-ended, a worker should stay in the job for a minimum five years to be eligible for a change. In such cases, the notice period to be served will be 30 days if the duration of service is five years and 60 days if the duration is more than five years.

Age should be less than 60

The MADLSA, meanwhile, stressed that the age of the person looking for a new employer should be less than 60 years.

The ministry also plans to stop the renewal of employment contracts of expatriate workers aged 60 and above. The decision stipulates the exit of the expatriate worker after reaching the age of 60 years and accordingly, his residence permit would not be renewed.

The MADLSA further states that the new employer should not have any restrictions on recruitment, such as a hiring ban imposed by the authorities concerned for previous violations.

If arbitration or reconciliation is required, the person concerned should attach relevant documents to prove that the case merits such intervention.

The regulations are meant for private-sector jobs in the country, the notice states.

Expatriates who encounter problems or technical issues while trying to change over to a new job can contact the technical support section at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs at or Phone: 40288888.


- Published on 26 December 2016


  1. dear sir ,
    i join the company as a interior draughtsman but the company gave me another kind of draughtsman job. and when the company hire to me they provide us offer letter with 2 year’s contract. but after that company asked to signed a new contract and i signed it.but it was open-ended contract.

    Note: please advise to me can i changed my company (May be company will not give me NOC.)

  2. Mine is open ended contract and I have completed 3 years in current company,suppose if the found the job with new visa can I go exit and come back to qatar again,kindly suggest

  3. Dear sir,my name is peter of Kenyan nationality,I have been working for 1yr in Qatar under a supply company in construction.
    I got an emergency back at home and had to leave for 2 weeks,at the Doha airport I accidentally left my I’d with an officer there,and upon enquiry the other officer at the check out point assured me there would be no trouble coming back.
    On the date of departure the authorities in Kenya denied my travel even after efforts of phone calls to Doha airport stating that my I’d was at the lost and found desk its been 1 month still waiting for my company to send me a visa since my I’d was expired,and the company I was supplied to insists that they are working on getting me a contract in that company.
    Please advice on the next step,because I am sure my boss cannot issue me an n.o.c and my contract was a 2yr contract.

  4. Please;;; i bring NOC from old employer, now 2nd employer unlimited contract but finished 02 years, please advice me how can i change job another employer????? i have a new job offer letter also…pls..pls..

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