Qatar’s hiring process: what you need to know

Giovanna Albanese's picture
Giovanna Albanese

In a country progressing at such a fast pace, Qatar is making a name for itself in the world as a nation full of diversity and opportunities. As a country that’s home to a plethora of nationalities and cultures, one consistent framework that joins everyone together is the desire to grow and become better. This collective mindset of progressing not only reflects in the individuals that make up this country, but it reflects in the way businesses in Qatar operate.

When it comes to progressing, businesses need people who reflect their vision. Though many businesses already have these individuals working for them, many are hoping to hire more people to expand their workforce. However, it’s in this hiring process that businesses in Qatar are not progressing at a steady pace, but are stuck due to the numerous regulations that must be met.

Why are these rules set in place?

For years, many people who came to work in Qatar arrived with all the legitimate documentation required to start working. However, alongside those individuals were numerous other individuals who did not have the legitimate documentation to begin working. This led to falsification of documents and credentials obtained from diploma mills. With the multitude of false documents and credentials exposed in Qatar over the years, the implementation of the current regulations was just one step toward resolving this issue.

It’s important to understand that these rules are not the same when switching between jobs in Qatar or transferring sponsorship. These are the rules that businesses have to follow when hiring an individual employee – and even then these rules can vary depending on specific positions, national origin, age, etc.

A peek at the process

In case you weren’t aware, if you want to hire someone to work in Qatar, you must understand that it’s a process – a very long process. Unlike other countries whose hiring processes are clearer and are easier to follow, the processes in Qatar are harder to track due to a lack of clear communication, as well as many recent changes. These changes have been put in place to maintain a high-level workforce, but what costs come with these changes?

Cost and effect

Here at ILQ, we’ve identified three main costs that come with the hiring process:

1. Time: The hiring process is extremely time-consuming. One must figure out the enforced regulations (which in itself can take a while due to the lack of clear information), gather all necessary documents, and get approvals of the required documents – time-wise it’s like having a part-time job. What starts out as a simple desire to hire, leads to a time-taxing process that requires consistent effort and follow-ups due to the recent changes put in place.

2. Money: The hiring process is very costly. To get everything done for a single employee can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of riyals due to the fees, documents, and other required materials that have to be paid for. With that cost in mind, businesses looking to hire more than one employee end up spending a massive amount of money before an employee’s work even begins. The monetary cost the hiring process has not only impacts large, established businesses, but also it can negatively affect small and private companies.

However, not only do businesses pay, but individuals pay as well. With requirements such as an attested degree, transcript, enrollment verification letter, etc., a person will spend a significant amount of money just to ‘triple confirm’ their educational credentials. When one is looking to begin a job, the last thing he or she wants to do is spend money — lots of money — on a job that they may not even be hired for.

Here’s a breakdown of what these costs can entail, but keep in mind that the prices can fluctuate:

  • New visa (if you are currently not in Qatar): QR 300
  • Transfer visa (if you are already in Qatar - visitor visa to work visa): QR 800       (QR 300 for hiring + QR 500 for transfer)
  • According to a source, university documents including UPS charges: QR 875 

Any title above manager (ex: doctor, engineer, professor, etc.) must have these documents submitted and attested from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Qatari embassy in the country where the individual's studying was done. Once these two places attest it, a further attestation from the MOFA in Qatar is required. This can become more expensive if an individual has not done their studying in Qatar, as to get the original copy of degree, transcript, and enrollment verification letter means purchasing airline tickets.

3. Uncertainty: The hiring process opens the door to uncertainty. In Qatar, there are numerous people and departments that a single hiring request must go through. During this process, one of the most taxing costs is the uncertainty of the outcome. Yes, businesses and people spend lots of time and money to ensure they’re meeting all regulations, but during this process, it can be frustrating as the result can be unsure and unclear.

The ability to hire is essential for any business to function and progress. With Qatar growing quickly and its high-caliber workforce trying to progress, the hiring process seems to carry more costs than benefits to employers and potential employees.

We at ILQ hope for these processes to be outlined and definitive, and an easy-to-access resource made available for people.

What are your thoughts on the hiring process in Qatar? Let us know in the comments section below and don’t forget to give us a like and a share!