If you’re new in Qatar and want to hire/sponsor a full-time live-in maid, or you and your spouse are working and need someone to take care of the house and look after the children while you’re away, you probably want to know the procedure, along with the do’s and don’ts.
We have put together a comprehensive feature on how to hire a maid in Qatar and hope we can answer all your questions here.
If you’re sponsoring a full-time live-in maid who will stay with you, then there are some rules and regulations that must be followed:
The following documents must be submitted to the MOI for hiring a maid from another country:
You cannot just hire a nanny from any country. The countries you can hire maids from are:
These nationalities may change, depending on specific conditions put forth by the MOI.
Though the rules for hiring a maid here in Qatar may change from time to time, the basic procedure remains the same.
Submit all the above-mentioned documents to the MOI (Passports and Expat Affairs, Gharaffa office, Gate 4). The MOI responds within a few weeks on whether you have the approval or not, and if they feel they need more information or some clarifications, you may be called in for an interview. If your application is rejected, the MOI will tell you why it was rejected and you will be able to reapply.
If the MOI approves your application, it will tell you what nationality you can hire as a maid along with any further requirements. You will also have to pay QR 1,500 for approval and QR 300 for visa issuance.
This is probably the hardest part of the process because, obviously, you are looking for a suitable maid who will take care of your home and your children both of which you will place in her trust. That’s why finding the right maid who is responsible, honest, reliable and trustworthy is of utmost importance.
When you’re looking for a maid, you have a few different options.
First, you could use a maid agency to find a suitable maid for yourself. They have many detailed profiles of maids from different eligible countries which you can go through and make a decision based on your requirements.
Many of the agencies take a one time sum from you and do all the paperwork for you which includes arranging for the visa, getting the maid’s flight to Doha sorted out, obtaining her residence permit for Qatar, and all other requirements necessary to get a maid. This process will take 1-3 months. The maid will be provided with a standard contract that is valid for two years. There will be a three month’s probation period during which you or the maid can opt-out of the agreement. If either you or the maid decides to opt-out, he maid agency will find you a replacement maid without charging you anything. However, the trial period is a set time frame and does not start over with your replacement maid.
The second option is to look for a local maid who wants to have her ownership transferred. You can mind someone through social media, word of mouth or through a reference.
The third, and least preferred option, is to hire a specific maid directly from her home country (this, however, is a tedious and complicated process and depends on specific requirements and details). The direct hire visa process may depend on specific labour rules that are put forward by the country the maid is coming from, so it is not straightforward. Most people don’t opt for this option because it is risky, The visa status of the maid is less certain, and there won't be a probationary period.
Once you have the visa approval for a maid from the MOI, you have found the maid you want, and she has finally arrived in Qatar, that’s not the end of the hiring process.
You will need to get your new maid to undergo a medical exam and get her fingerprints done. After that, you will need to apply for her residence permit, health insurance, life/disability insurance (must for Filipino maids; can be purchased for QR ±200 – 300 from insurance companies like General Takaful, and Qatar Islamic Insurance and get her a registered employment contract.
Filled sponsorship transfer form, available here.
Once, you’ve found the maid you want to have transferred to your sponsorship, it’s very important to ensure her visa status in Qatar is legal and her current sponsor is willing to provide you an NOC, otherwise you may suffer problems later on.
To transfer a maid who is already in Qatar to your sponsorship, you will net to get maid visa transfer processed, and this requires a maid visa approval as well. (check the procedure in the section: ‘Approval to get maid from MOI’ above).
Once you get the maid visa approval and the maid visa transfer approval, the maid’s sponsor must provide you an NOC and also visit the MOI with you to sign the transfer papers. You, as a sponsor, the sponsor who is transferring the maid, and the maid needs to bring their Qatar ID cards with them.
You must submit the transfer form along with all the required documentation to the MOI. You will pay a fee of QR 1,000 to transfer a maid’s sponsorship the first time, QR 1,500 the second time and QR 2,000 the third time).
If the maid you are planning to hire, is not willing to give you copies of her Qatar ID and passport, along with the contact details of her current sponsor, then she may be working illegally, with an expired Qatar ID or she may have run away from her sponsor. In these cases, it’s time for you to make a run, and find someone else.
The maid will also have to get tested for HIV, TB and pregnancy, and her fingerprints must also be taken. Also, you will need to update her health insurance and life/disability insurance.
An employment contract is necessary and defines employment terms and conditions, so you and the maid are both protected from any legalities. Both you and your maid should have a signed copy of the contract. This contract may also be a requirement for the maid agency or the maid’s Embassy,
Such a contract, verified by the maid’s Embassy may also be needed when the maid exits and returns to Qatar
You have about four weeks to get all these processes done. The fees are approximately QR 500.
After the initial fee of QR 1,500QAR for MOI’s or approval to hire a maid, the maid agency fees maybe QR 12,000 - 18,000.
If you find a nanny who resides in Qatar, you can hire a Public Relations Officer (PRO) to get all the paperwork done, it will cost QR 1,500. However, if you do all the paperwork yourself, without the help of a PRO, the fee is less: QR 500 - 1,000.
Salaries vary depending on the nationality of the maid, the maid’s work experience and what kind of job the sponsor (you) has. Mostly, the maid's salary is set at the minimum wage by her home country. For those maids that ask for a higher salary, it's usually because of their experience, credentials, reference and command over the required language.
A Filipino maid may get a minimum salary of QR 1460/month if she is a first-time maid with little experience and you hire her from a mad agency. Other nationalities minimum salaries may be less.
If an experienced maid is already in Qatar and you want to transfer sponsorship, the salary will be higher and may be QR 1,800 – 2,000.
A maid with unique skills, good English and good references are in more demand and may expect a salary of QR 2,200+/month.
As a sponsor, you must not keep your maid’s passport and any other personal identification cards like the Qatar ID, or you are eligible for a fine of up to QR 50,000 from the relevant authorities.
She is not required to perform work outside of the contract, and it is illegal for maids to take on part-time work for other employers, even with your consent. Your maid is responsible to keep her passport and all her personal identification cards safe and secure. It is illegal for employers to withhold a maid’s passport or personal ID from her; an offense that carries fines of up to 50,000QR.
It is important to give your maid at least one day off per week, though a more experienced maid may ask for 1.5 - days off per week, especially if her salary may be QR 1800 - 2200/month.
These include, but may not be limited to, food, toiletries, wi-fi or basic data plan for mobile and a 10 - 12-hour workday.
It is illegal for a maid to work part-time for anyone else even if she has the sponsor’s consent to do so, so the sponsor should not make her do this.
Though you can cancel a maid’s contract whenever you want, it’s important to note that, if you are in Qatar and cancel the visa before the contract is finished, you may face a penalty time frame in which you cannot hire another maid.
If you do cancel her visa, she may want to go back or she may want to stay back in Qatar and transfer to another sponsor. If she wants to transfer, you will need to provide her with an NOC so she can take up employment with another sponsor, but if she wants to return, you have to give her a plane ticket to her home country.
It’s important that you give the maid enough notice time as possible, and also 2 - 4 weeks of severance salary.
Are you in the process of hiring a full-time maid in Qatar? Do let us know if this article is helpful in our Comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
Some information extracted from Doha Nanny
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