Transferring your visa in Qatar often feels like you’re in the dark, constantly wondering about your approval status. Without transparency around the process, it is incredibly frustrating to plan your career transition. When you have both your old visa and new contract available, you can verify that the documents are moving through the correct channels.
In this guide, you will find actionable solutions to gain visibility into your visa transfer status, alleviate uncertainty, and proactively address delays. By outlining the options available through the Ministry of Interior, you can take control of monitoring your application by verifying receipt and checking progress.
Qatar Visa Transfer Rules
Qatar has specific regulations for transferring employment visas. With frequent policy changes in recent years, it is essential to fully understand the current visa transfer rules to navigate your career transition successfully.
Minimum Wage Requirements
According to updated policies, visa transfers must meet minimum wage criteria.
Monthly Basic Wage
- The basic monthly salary on your new Qatar employment contract must be at least 10,000 QAR. This minimum wage rule applies universally to all employees and sectors.
- Certain professions, like doctors and engineers, may require a higher minimum monthly wage written into your contract, per your new employer’s policies. Consult your new company’s HR department on specific salary requirements.
On top of meeting the minimum basic wage, your new employer must provide the below mandatory allowances:
- Accommodation allowance – 500 QAR per month at minimum
- Food allowance – 300 QAR minimum per month
Recent regulatory updates show these two allowances are compulsory when transferring your visa. Domestic workers are also entitled to these, besides meeting the minimum wage.
Transfer Process Without NOC
Obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your previous company is no longer necessary in certain circumstances due to policy changes.
For employees on open-ended contracts, a NOC is optional for visa transfers after completing 5 years of continuous service with the same employer. Ensure that your years of service meet the requirements before applying for a transfer without an NOC letter.
The NOC letter is not mandatory for employees on fixed-term contracts. Once the full term of your fixed-duration employment contract expires, you can directly proceed with the visa transfer application.
Mandatory Health Insurance
Health insurance is compulsory for all expatriates getting new or renewed Qatar residence permits. It provides essential medical coverage for injuries and health issues. Ensure your new employer offers adequate health insurance per the latest laws before initiating your visa transfer.
Extended Heat Protection
Laws limit maximum work hours during summer to prevent heat stress. The annual hot season work hours regulation is now extended to 6 weeks from June 1 to August 31.
Improved Job Mobility
With relaxed NOC regulations, employees now have much more flexibility to change jobs and transfer visas without obstacles. Workers can use this provision to seamlessly move to positions better aligned with their skills and career goals.
How to Transfer Your Qatar Visa Online
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) e-services portal simplifies transferring your Qatar residency visa to a new employer. Follow this simple step-by-step process to change your visa status online successfully.
Step 1: Login to MOI Visa Services
- Go to the MOI website and click “e-services portal” to access the login page.
- Enter your details and log in to your personal e-services account.
Step 2: Visit Visa Transfer
- Click “Visa Services” from the homepage in the menu bar.
- Next, select the “Extend Visa” option. It is the section you need for transfers.
Step 3: Enter Visa Details
- Enter the 12-digit number of your current employment visa in the “Current Visa Number” field.
- In the “New Visa Number” field, enter the 12-digit number of the new employment visa provided by your new company in Qatar.
Step 4: Complete the Transfer Fee Payment
- Verify all entered details before proceeding to payment.
- Complete the transfer fee payment through your preferred online payment method.
- Save and print the payment receipt for your records.
Step 5: Receive Transfer Confirmation
- You will receive an online confirmation of your visa transfer application upon completing payment.
- Wait for MOI approval and SMS notification before canceling your old visa.
How to Check Your Qatar Visa Transfer Status
Monitoring the status of your Qatar employment visa transfer becomes increasingly important for planning your career transition. Using the MOI visa status portal, you can quickly check your transfer progress:
Step 1: Visit MOI
If necessary, visit the Ministry of Interior website and select the English language option.
Step 2: Navigate to the Visa Status Page
- Select “Visa Services” from the main menu.
- Click on the “Visa Inquiry & Printing” sub-menu option.
- It will open the visa status check page.
Step 3: Check Visa Status
- Choose either the visa number or passport number option.
- For the visa number, enter your old visa number. If you have a passport, please enter the information you have on the document.
- Select your nationality from the drop-down list.
- Input the verification code displayed.
- Click “Submit” to view your visa transfer status.
Step 4: Understand the Transfer Status
- The status displayed will indicate the stage your visa transfer is at – typically “in progress” or “application approved.”
- Recheck periodically if pending approval.
- Once approved, you can download your new residence permit.
Tips for Smooth Qatar Visa Transfer
To avoid processing complications, you should be careful when transferring your Qatari residence visa to a new employer. Here are some tips to ensure a seamless transfer:
Closing Your Old Visa
Use the 12-digit number of the current visa you want to cancel for the transfer application. This existing visa must be valid and active, not already canceled. Moreover, you should be physically present in Qatar on the current visa during the transfer.
Opening Your New Visa
The new visa number you input should print, be fully approved, and be ready for activation. Double-check that all the personal details, like name, nationality, date of birth, etc., match your old and new visa numbers. Mismatch in details can lead to delays or rejection of the transfer.
In-Country Transfer Requirement
Residency visa holders must be within Qatar during the entire transfer process. Visa transfers cannot be done remotely while abroad on a returning visa.
What details do I need to check my visa transfer status?
You will need either your previous Qatar visa number (the one you are canceling) or your passport number used on the new visa application, along with your nationality. These details are required to retrieve your status.
How long does it take to process a visa transfer in Qatar?
The standard processing time for Qatar visa transfers is approximately 3-5 working days. Some applications may take longer if additional verification is required. Check regularly to track progress.
What are the different visa transfer statuses?
Here are the main application statuses:
- Received – We have received your transfer request and are processing it.
- Approved – Your visa transfer has been successful, and your new visa is activated.
- Rejected – Reasonable grounds for dismissing your transfer application.
How soon can I travel after my visa transfer is approved?
You can travel in and out of Qatar immediately after your visa transfer approval is completed. Make sure to get a copy of your new residence permit.
Transferring your employment visa is a key step when transitioning jobs in Qatar. While the process requires careful adherence to protocols, being able to monitor your application status independently is invaluable.
Utilizing the Ministry of Interior’s web-based services empowers you to take control of your visa change. Moreover, regular checking eliminates uncertainties and allows you to address processing delays proactively. A proactive approach ensures your visa transfer goes through properly so you can confidently embark on your new professional journey in Qatar.