Visas & Immigration

Getting a residence permit in Qatar

Discover how to apply for a residence permit in Qatar, including the requirements you need to meet and the documents you need to submit.

Qatar residence permit

By Valentine Marie

Updated 22-1-2024

You must have a Residence Permit (RP) if you intend to live and work in Qatar. This is essentially a form of official identification that serves as proof of your legal right to reside in the country. You will also need to present your RP to enter government buildings, open a bank account, pay your bills, and rent a property; among other things. Moreover, it grants you access to a range of government services.

Fortunately, expats can rely on their employers to do most of the paperwork when it comes to applying for a Residence Permit in Qatar. However, you will need to help with a few steps along the way. To help you understand the process of obtaining your RP, this article provides the following information:


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The Residence Permit (RP) in Qatar

As mentioned, if you plan to live and work in Qatar, you will need a valid Residence Permit (RP). This will allow you to sign a rental agreement, pay your bills, obtain a Qatar driving license, and officially identify yourself.

Qatar's Ministry of Interior
The Ministry of Interior in Doha

The RP is a rectangular-shaped card that includes your photo, name, date of birth, and 11-digit ID number. It will also specify your nationality and occupation. Residence Permits are issued by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in Qatar.

Who needs an RP?

Everyone living in Qatar, from infants to the elderly, needs a Residence Permit. Notably, non-residents and tourists can stay in the country for as long as their visa allows, however, they may not work or stay beyond that period without an RP.

What is a Residence Permit used for?

It is important to be aware that you should carry your RP with you at all times because you must be able to provide it when asked. You will need a Residence Permit for several reasons, such as:

How to apply for an RP

The good news about the RP is that employers handle the bulk of the paperwork. Once you have found an employer that is based in Qatar and wants to hire you, they will begin the paperwork to become your sponsor.

However, the paperwork must be completed with you in Qatar which means that you will need to travel to the country to assist with the application process. Moreover, it is very important that you do not leave the country until the process is completed.

State of Qatar ID card

When you first arrive in Qatar, you will enter the country on a temporary visa that your employer will have organized for you. Once you are in the country, you can complete all the necessary steps to convert that into a Residence Permit.

Although your employer handles the bulk of the process, it is important to maintain good communication with them and confirm all the steps that you should be handling on your end. This will also help you to avoid any delays and stay in the loop.

Notably, you will need to take a blood test to check for communicable diseases, have a chest X-ray, and provide fingerprints. It is important to know that if you are found to be positive for HIV, you will be denied an RP and deported.

The process of getting a Residence Permit usually takes between two and four weeks, however, it can take longer. Once you get your RP, either you or your employer can sponsor your family to live in Qatar. They can then apply for a Family Residence Visa.

Requirements for a Residence Permit

The main requirement for getting a Residence Permit is an employment contract from a Qatari employer.

Besides that, you will need your original passport (and copies), four passport-sized photos, and whatever your employer asks you to provide. For instance, this might include attested educational documents or a marriage certificate. In this case, it is best to follow your employer’s lead. Residence Permits cost QR 1,000 per year.

What to do if you lose your RP in Qatar

If you lose your Residence Permit, you should go to a branch of the Ministry of Interior with your passport and a fee of QR 200. You will need to fill out a lost ID form and be issued a new card. To make things simpler, be sure to make a copy of your RP once you get it.