How to Change Job in Qatar Without NOC (2024)

Doha Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update were on 03 June 2024.

Stuck in a job that isn’t you? Ready for a career change but have no idea what else you could do – or where to start? Here is some good news for you.

According to the updated labour law announced in 2020, all workers in the State of Qatar, whether on fixed-term contracts or open-ended contracts, can change jobs without having to obtain NOC anytime during their contract period.

This article explains the procedure by which expatriate workers can change jobs in Qatar without the need for NOC from their current employer.

New Updates to Change Sponsor in Qatar

As of 2024, there seems to be some changes to the online portal. Nowadays the current sponsor is being asked to approve the sponsor change request online. However the MOL website doesn’t mention about such a change. If you are not sure, please seek the assistance of a PRO or typing center.

Procedure to Change Job in Qatar

The steps to change jobs in Qatar, as explained by the Ministry of Labour (since July 2022), are as follows:

Step 1: The worker applies through the Ministry of Labour e-system

a) The worker wishing for a transfer of sponsorship must download and print the Change Employer Form from the Ministry of Labour (MoL) website.

Qatar Change Employer Form
Change of Employer Form

b) After printing, fill in the “Change of Employer” form with all requested information, and sign the form. The form must also be signed and stamped by the new employer. The new employer’s signature is enough if the worker is changing jobs to work in a private household. Take a picture or scan the filled form.

c) Log in to the Ministry’s electronic portal using the worker’s Qatar ID (QID) number and mobile number, and upload a copy of the signed form. The mobile phone number you use to log in must be linked to your QID. Once you have entered the system, upload the completed and signed form.

NOTE: The date on which you submit the “Change of Employer” form will be the start date of your notice period with your current employer.

  • For specialized professions, you should attach a certified copy of the educational qualification and a license of practice from the concerned authorities in the country.
  • A health insurance certificate is required if the worker is over 60 years old.

Step 2: Employer Change (EC) number is generated

After submitting the application, an Employer Change (EC) number will appear on the screen. This number confirms that the application has been successfully submitted.

Make a note of the EC number (write it down, take a screenshot, or take a photo). You can use this number in the future to check the status of the application.

Step 3: The Ministry will process the application

The competent department at the Ministry of Labour will process the application. The Ministry may reject an application if the form is not completed correctly or if the new employer does not meet the eligibility to hire new workers. In case the application is incomplete, further information will be requested.

The worker can check the status of his application on the MoL website using his QID and EC number.

Step 4: The worker and employers receive an SMS from the Ministry

After processing the application, text messages (SMS) will be sent from the Ministry to the worker, the old employer and the new employer.

The SMS will also include the notice period to be completed.

  • If the worker has worked with the employer for two years or less, the notice period is one month.
  • The notice period is two months if the worker has worked with the employer for more than two years.

During the notice period, the worker must continue working with his current employer unless he and his employer have mutually agreed to shorten it.

Step 5: New employer initiates electronic contract

Upon completion of the notice period, the new employer will prepare the multilingual employment contract using MoL’s Digital Authentication System.

This process must be completed within three months from the end of the worker’s notice period. Once all the information is filled out, the new employer will print the employment contract for the worker and the employer to sign. The worker can sign the contract if he/she agrees to its provisions.

  • Upon signing the contract, the new employer will upload it to the Ministry’s website for authentication.
  • After the employment contract is finalized, the new employer must provide a copy to the employee.

Step 6: Request for new QID

When the contract is authenticated, the new employer should submit a request for a new QID to the Ministry of Interior through Metrash2 or the Ministry of Interior website.

Step 7: Worker starts his/her new job

Once the worker receives a new QID, he/she can start the new job.

Change Job in Qatar

NOTE: Both workers and employers can download a copy of the employment contract at any time through the MoL portal.

The steps above apply to private-sector workers covered by Labour Law No. 14 of 2004, agricultural and grazing workers, domestic workers and fishermen.

Steps For Terminating Employment and Leaving Qatar

  • Download, the Leave Country Form from the Ministry of Labour website.
  • Fill it up and sign
Qatar Leave Country Form
Qatar Leave Country Form

The application will be processed by the competent department at the Ministry of Labour, and a confirmation will be sent by text message within a week of the date of the submission of the application, confirming the required notice period.

Notice Period

If the worker has worked with the employer for two years or less, the notice period is one month. The notice period is two months if the worker has worked with the employer for more than two years.

Employee’s Service PeriodRequired Notice Period
Two years or lessOne month
More than two yearsTwo months
The notice period for employees changing jobs in Qatar

The employer should continue to pay the wage and other benefits to the worker during the notice period, per the employment contract. The employer must also continue to provide food and accommodation (or the relevant allowances) until the termination date.

What happens if a worker does not honour the notice period?

If a worker terminates his/her contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay the employer compensation equivalent to his/her basic wage for the notice period or the remaining part of the notice period (if partially completed). This is calculated as an amount equivalent to the basic wage for the remaining part of the notice period.

For example: If the worker’s basic wage is QAR 2,000 per month and the worker stops working two weeks before the end of a one-month notice period, he/she will have to pay his/her employer QAR 1,000 to terminate the contract legally.

NOTE: If the worker leaves Qatar without giving a notification or completing the notice period during the probation period, the worker will not be able to return to work in Qatar for one year.

Can I agree with my current employer not to fulfil my notice period?

You and your current employer can agree not to fulfil the notice period. If this is the case, you can attach a letter signed by you and your current employer.

Signed letters should explicitly state that you and your current employer have agreed not to observe the notice period stipulated by law. When determining the notice period, MoL will consider the mutual agreement.

Termination During Sponsorship Change

Can my current employer cancel my QID after I submit my application to change jobs?

The current employer cannot cancel your QID or file a false absconding case against you once you have submitted your electronic notification through MoL’s electronic notification system.

What can I do if my employer cancels my QID before I submit my application?

If your current employer cancels your QID before submitting your application, you must first submit a complaint through the MoL’s Unified Platform for Complaints and Whistleblowers or by visiting its office.

  • Following the Ministry’s review of your complaint, you will need to submit a signed letter in Arabic to the Head of the Labour Relations Department requesting the reactivation of your QID.
  • You should include a brief explanation in your letter as to why you requested your QID’s reactivation. Be sure to include your QID and mobile phone number in the letter.
  • You should also submit a copy of your QID, the SMS notifying you of the cancellation of your QID, and a copy of the new job offer along with the signed letter.
  • Keep a copy of these documents for your records.
  • To reactivate your QID, MoL will coordinate with the Ministry of Interior. Your QID status can be checked through Metrash.
  • You can apply to change jobs using MoL’s electronic notification system once your QID has been reactivated.

Can I cancel my application to change jobs?

You can cancel your job change application if it is still under review through MoL’s electronic notification system. You can access MoL’s electronic notification system by entering your QID and mobile numbers.

If you wish to cancel your application to change jobs after receiving approval from the Ministry but before your new employment contract has been authenticated, you must submit a written request to MoL.

To cancel your application, you must submit a signed letter in Arabic addressed to the Head of the Labour Relations Department. You should include a brief explanation of why you are cancelling your application, your EC number, a copy of your QID, and your mobile number in the letter.

Probation Period

The employment contract may contain a clause that the worker shall be subject to a probation period agreed upon by both parties. The probation period should not exceed six months from the date of joining, and the worker should not be subject to more than one probationary period with the same employer.

Employer Change During Probation

A worker may terminate the employment contract within the probation period, provided the worker complies with the following:

  • The worker must notify the current employer at least one month before leaving the job through MoL’s electronic system.
  • The worker’s new employer must compensate the current employer a portion of the recruitment fees and a one-way air ticket at the level agreed to by the current and new employers (not exceeding two months of the current basic wage). The compensation amount should be discussed between the new and old employer.

Termination During Probation

An employer may terminate a worker’s employment contract during the probation period if the employer finds out that the worker is unfit to carry out his/her duties. The employer must notify the worker at least one month before the termination through MoL’s electronic system.

Upon termination of the employment contract, if the worker returns to his/her country, the employer must cover the expenses of the return plane ticket.

End of Service Benefits

If the worker completed at least one year of employment and the contract was not terminated for committing any of the violations described in Article 61 of the Labour Law, the employer must still pay the worker his/her end-of-service benefits, accrued annual leave not taken and any other benefits stipulated by Labour Law No. 14 of 2004 and the signed employment contract.

End of Service Gratuity Calculator in English

If the employer terminates the contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay the worker compensation equivalent to the worker’s basic wage for the notice period or the remaining duration of the notice period.

Workers Entitlement During Changing Job

Non-Compete Clause in Labour Contract

Employers can only include a non-compete clause in the employment contract if the nature of the employee’s work puts him/her in a position to know the employer’s clients or the business’s secrets.

This means that after the contract termination, the employee cannot compete with the employer or participate in any competing business in the same economic sector. The duration of the non-compete clause cannot exceed one year from the date of leaving employment.

MoL has assured to issue a regulation to clarify further the provisions related to the non-compete clauses.

Non-compete Clause in Employment Contract

Cost of Return Flight Ticket

The employer must complete the worker’s repatriation procedures, including bearing the cost of a return air ticket to his/her country of residence within a maximum of two weeks from contract expiration. If the worker joins another employer before leaving the country, the repatriation obligation shall be incumbent upon the new employer.

In cases where the worker terminates the employment contract before its end and plans to leave Qatar while respecting the notice period (outside of the scope of amended Article 51 of the Labour Law), the employer shall cover part of the cost of the return air ticket proportional to the actual employment duration the worker completed out of the entire term of the employment contract.

The employer has the right to claim any charges and costs related to training the workers and obtaining a driving license from the new employer as per the law, which safeguards the rights of the employer and employee.

If I have not been paid my wages, do I still have to give notice before changing jobs?

Suppose the current employer has not fulfilled his/her legal obligations (including payment of wages). In that case, the worker can change jobs without giving any notice per amended Article (51) of the Labour Law. The worker should submit a complaint to the Ministry of Labour.

Changing Job If Employer Not Paying Salary

Other Conditions for Changing Job

  • The new employer should have the approval of the same nationality, gender and profession. For example, an “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 to employ an “Indian male accountant”.
  • There should be no restrictions against the new employer to stop the change.

Time Period for Change of Job

If the expatriate has completed the required contract period and has a new job contract and visa, he can immediately come back (even on the next day).

  • If there is no job contract, the expatriate has to leave Qatar within a week of cancelling the residence permit.
  • In special cases like termination by the employer, MoL may allow expatriates up to three months to find a new job.

When the expatriate has found a new job, he will be required to return to the Ministry and present the new employment contract. Expatriates who do not find work within this period must leave Qatar.

Expenses for Change of Job

Fees for Employer Change

The employer change service is free of charge for workers and employers.

Important Points to Note

  • The new law does not require existing employees to sign new contracts.
  • Under the new law, service periods are calculated from the day employees start working for their employer.
  • This includes all days of employment accumulated before the implementation of Law No 21 of 2015.
  • All prospective expatriate workers can see a copy of their job contract before leaving their country of origin, as obtaining a work visa will now require a job contract approved by MoL.
  • Expatriates who leave Qatar and have had their employment and Residency Permit terminated will be able to return to Qatar to take up new employment immediately after being granted a new visa.
  • However, this will not be the case for workers who have been found guilty of misconduct whilst working for their previous employer in Qatar. Such workers will face four years ban.
  • Employers who have confiscated passports can be fined up to QR 25,000 per worker. When enacted, this will be the toughest financial penalty against passport confiscation within the region.

PLEASE NOTE: The job change process and filling up these forms can confuse some workers. If you are unsure how to proceed, please get this done through a reputed typing centre or PRO. They would be able to guide you on the exact process.

Due to the high volume of applications nowadays, this process reportedly takes several weeks. So please be patient if you do not get a response soon.

History of Qatar’s Labour Reforms

Law No 21 of 2015, which deals with expatriates’ entry, exit, and residency, abolished Qatar’s existing Kafala (sponsorship) system, replacing it with a modernised, contract-based system. After Qatar’s new sponsorship law came into force in December 2016, the automatic two-year ban was removed.

In September 2020 Qatar Government announced that an NOC would not be required for employer change, subject to certain conditions. The new law has been published in the official Gazette.

In recent years Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) launched a series of laws and policies aimed at workers’ well-being, improved conditions, and greater labour mobility. Qatar’s Ministry of Labour (MoL) is now carrying forward the reforms initiated by MADLSA.

For more information, you can contact the Ministry of Labour on the Hotline Number 16008 or send an email to [email protected].

READ NEXT: How To Calculate End of Service Gratuity in Qatar

FAQ on Changing Jobs in Qatar

Can I change my job in Qatar without NOC?

Yes, as per the new law, all employees can change jobs without having to obtain NOC anytime during their contract period.

How long is the notice period before changing employers?

If the worker has worked with the employer for two years or less, the notice period is one month. The notice period is two months if the worker has worked with the employer for more than two years.

Can I just leave Qatar and come back again to start a new job?

No, If you leave Qatar without giving a notification or completing your notice period, you will not be able to return to work in Qatar for one year.

Can my employer terminate me without a notice period?

If the employer terminates the contract without observing the notice period, he/she must pay the worker compensation equivalent to the worker’s basic wage for the notice period or the remaining duration of the notice period.

Can my employer keep my passport without my consent?

No, employers who have confiscated passports can be fined up to QR 25,000 per worker.

Related Articles:

  1. 11 Easy Ways To File A Labour Complaint in Qatar
  2. 3 Ways To Easily Check Travel Ban in Qatar
  3. Qatar Labour Law on Annual Leave and Holidays
  4. Qatar Labour Law on Working Hours and Overtime
  5. Wage Protection System WPS Qatar: Complete Guide
  6. Minimum Wage Law in Qatar: Everything You Need To Know
  7. Qatar Freelance Visa: Things You Should Know
  8. How To Find A Job In Qatar: Your Essential Guide

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  1. My resignation letter mentioned only 1 month but it is supposed to be 2 months, will it affect my application to ADLSA? Or it will not matter since it’s the ADLSA is the one deciding the notice period. Thanks

  2. I’m working with the company for more than 2 years, so the notice period I’m gonna receive from ADLSA is 2 months but new employer wants me to join within a month. What is the best way to do this? After receiving notice period from ADLSA, should I inform my current company that I am willing to compensate them for the days I am unable to serve so that I can already start working with the new company?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi JM, Discuss with your current company and agree on reducing the notice period (may be by compensating). Get a formal letter from them to reduce or waive off notice period. Submit the letter to Ministry of Labour.

  3. Hi, what are all the documents needed to upload in the portal for the change of employer without NOC? I have offer letter from the new employer. Please advice..

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Jackky, Download the change of employer form, fill it up and upload it. You can also upload the resignation letter / or email screenshot with date. For more assistance, you can seek help from a PRO or typing center.

  4. Is it possible to submit change of employer form in ADLSA then later on I will submit the letter aggreement between me and current company not to serve the notice period? Or the agreement should be already included in the change employee form when submitting?

  5. Hi Team,
    1.) I came here through my company’s sponsorship for an project in open contract. Now the project is finished and also i have completed the notice period given by current employer. Now i’m in company accommodation.. searching for new job, if i got job during this period. I will apply for Job transfer in MoL. Should i need to serve notice period again if i get new job?
    2.) (Reference to above scenerio) If i get new job through online job transfer and what if i don’t like the next job. Can i transfer again through the same method to some other new company sponsor. Or is there any time period to change from the second employer?.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Faiz, (1) If you apply for job change online, Ministry of Labour will ask you to complete the notice period. If you want to avoid notice period, you should get a letter from your company (in Arabic) stating that they do not want you to serve the notice period. This letter should be submitted along with the change request. (2) Normally immediate changes (within 12 months) are rejected unless the new employer gives NOC.

      1. 1).(Reply question). I have my termination letter or notice period letter copy(completed) signed from both end. Is this proof enough to submit along with employer change form. Or as you mentioned above, should i must need another letter from employer in arabic that not to serve notice period.

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Faiz, This should be enough if it clearly mentions about notice period.

  6. I am working in a public sector, I got an offer from a private company, do I need NOC while transferring the sponsorship, I was hired as an overseas contract employee.
    I have been working with the public sector for over 8 years now. Does the law allow them to stop me from transferring?
    How do I manage to transfer my sponsorship smoothly.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Anz, You may require NOC to change from public sector depending on your industry and role. Normally public sector employers do not object to transfers (unless there is a non-compete clause). However it is better to speak with your management and sort this out smoothly.

  7. Hi. I already changed my sponsor thru adsla and starting working. My contract is 2 years and my probation is 6 months and it seems like i am not happy with my new company. Is theres any possibility that i can change again a sponsor during my probationary period? I want to apply to government facilities. If i hired during my probationary and not completing the contract. What penalties can i get to my current employer?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Dada, You can change if you get NOC from your employer. If you are leaving within probation period, most employers will ask you to compensate their expenses. You should reach an agreement with your employer.

  8. Whether the current employer can object or reject the employer change application after receiving the notice period message from Ministry.?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ansari, You can change with NOC from the company. Or else it may be rejected. In most cases, old employer will ask for sharing the cost of visa if you have worked only 6 months.

  9. Hello, am working last 16 months one company. I need to make resign and leave the country so how can I download country leave highly looking for country leave form

  10. Hi
    Presently I am working for 3 years in Qatar and my contract was unlimited.

    I got another offer and they have agreed to give me New Visa.

    In this situation if I resign will there be any block for re entry.

    What are things I should take care for not getting ban….if my present employer cancel my ID ,is it OK.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Arif, If your current visa is cancelled by employer you can come back without any ban. If you leave without cancelling and they file a complaint, there will be ban. Try to settle in a smooth way as you have already worked 3 years.

  11. Ahamed Ibrahim

    I have 3 years Working Experiance in My current Employer. On 06 February 2023 I have Applied to Change Employer From Qatar using ADLSA website & I have received APPROVED Status from ADLSA in 12 March 2023 and My Notice Period End Date was 13 April 2023.
           On This situation My Current Employer Has Force to me that Not Allow to Work and Not Allow to  Stay in Accomudation until My Notice period and They are not Give Resignation Acceptance letter. Because I submitted My Resign Letter in 31 Jan 2022. Now They are not consider to ADLSA. So What Can I do for that?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ahamed, If the employer does not want you to work during the notice period, they have the right to relieve you from your duties. In that case they can ask you to vacate the accommodation. As you change request has been already approved, your new employer can continue with your paperworks. Please speak with your new employer and see what can be done.

  12. Hi!
    I have signed a 5-year contract with my current employer, but I already worked for 2 years & 4 mos. now. I found a new company with a better package and got signed their job offer, after that, I passed resignation but my current employer rejected it. Since I signed a job offer, my new employer applied it thru Online Changing of Employer and got SMS after a week with under review status.
    I already rendered 1month notice period based on my resignation letter but until now, I haven’t receive any message of approval yet. I checked it online & have under consideration status.
    Is there any chance that it will be rejected? Does Under review & under consideration is just the same? Shall I wait for the message of approval from ADLSA and continue to work eventhough I already rendered my 1 month notice in my resignation.
    Your reply is much appreciated! Thank you.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Astrea, You need to wait for a decision from the Ministry of Labour. The notice period dates will be mentioned in the message you will receive. Unless you receive a decision, your new employer cannot complete your official paperwork. It seems that your new new employer is supportive as they have initiated the change of job process. Please discuss with the new employer and see what can be done. Perhaps their PRO can check with the Ministry.

  13. Hi
    I have received notice period from ADLSA but there is spelling error in Name of MOL website .

    Will this be any problem, already received notice period end date

  14. Hi
    After approval message my current employer puts objection and going to ADLSA office continuously, but I haven’t received any message from ADLSA.

    How we can know what objection my employer put against me.

    Also when employer puts objection after my approval how long it will take for rejection or is their any chance our approval will not get rejected.

  15. Hi
    After approval message my current employer puts objection and going to ADLSA office continuously, but I haven’t received any message from ADLSA.

    How we can know what objection my employer put against me.

    Also when employer puts objection after my approval how long it will take for rejection or is their any chance our approval will not get rejected.

  16. Hi Good evening to all.
    I am Recruited directly from india by my current employer and my contract period is 5 year.
    Im done my one and Half year here.
    I received a new job offer here with better Package.
    Can i apply for the new company?
    Did my current employer will take any case against me (sure he will not give NOC) ?

    What’s is the Proper and Legal way.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Rajadurai, If your contract is 5 years, it would be difficult to get approval without NOC. Employer can raise an objection if required.

  17. Hi,
    I finish 5 years of working in my current company and resigned as I received a better opportunity from a Govt company. However, new company is asking me an NOC to process my transfer of sponsorship. Unfortunately, they’re not giving me those letters. Is there any other way to proceed my transfer without the NOC?
    Thank you.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Steph, You need to discuss this with your new company. Some public sector companies require NOC while transferring from private.

      1. Thank you for your reply. Is there a chance my current company can object with my adlsa application? I have unlimited contract but been working with them for 5 yrs and 1 month already.

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Steph, With unlimited contract you can change after 5 years. Normally this will be approved unless there is a non-compete clause in your contract.

      2. Hi, is there a chance my current employer can object in my adlsa application? May I know as well the no. of processing days after applying (i.e. days to get under review message or notice period message). Thank you.

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Steph, Normally they cannot object as you have completed 5 years. Processing time varies from case to case. 1-3 weeks is normal.

  18. Hi,
    I closed to my two years contract, I got offer letter and I resign but my company refused. I apply on adsla and it’s under review and my present company threaten me to cancel my adsla and my id. What is my chance to approved my changing sponsor and if my current company will object, what will I do then?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Gian, If your change of employer application is already under submitted to ADLSA, your old employer will need a strong reason to raise an objection. If you have completed two years as per the original contract, they cannot object.

      1. I’m currently waiting the update from adsla, my one month noticed also finished today but I keep working to my old company. if it will approved my adsla, I can stop working in my old company and start in the new company? And my old company can’t object or file any case against me? Thank you

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Gian, (1) If you have received the notice period SMS from Ministry, and you completed the notice period as per the SMS, you can stop working. Meanwhile your new company should upload your new contract and it should be approved. Technically, you can only start new work after this.
          (2) If your old company objects, it would be during your notice period and you will receive a message about that.

    2. I got the approval for my adsla and mention my notice period will be on march 29, is it possible I will stop working in my previous company and start with the new company?
      My previous company can do against me? Thank you

      1. Doha Guides Team

        Hi Gian, As per the law, you can only start working with new company after your visa has been transferred.

        1. I will continued working in my company until the notice period, after that they cannot force me to stayed longer and I can possible to start to my new employer?

        2. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Gian, (1) When you receive approval message from ADLSA, your notice period dates (start and end) will be mentioned in the message. You are liable to work until that date. After that you don’t have to work. (2) Officially you can only start working for new company after your employment visa is transferred.

        3. Hi, my adsla approved and my noticed will be on march 29. Today my company talk to me that they will release me but I will not take my settlement or else they will cancel my qid and my adsla. Is it possible they can cancel my qid and terminate me while my adsla is approved? Please help me to get idea. Thank you