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 02 February 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.

Recent 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.

New Procedure to Change Job in Qatar

The latest steps to change jobs in Qatar, as explained by the Ministry of Labour (in 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 (Updated 2023)

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 (Updated 2023)

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.

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. Hi,
    I am under husband sponsorship, got a conflict with him and saying that he will cancel my visa. I have a current job and still want to continue working. What are my options I can do? Because for sure he will not sign any paper for NOC to be transfer to my current company. Is it possible to transfer ng visa to my company without his NOC?

  2. Hi doha guide team
    Me applied for job change I got approved from mol and got 2 months notice period now
    My current company take my salary car and now thay ignore to give it to me they put salary and they withdraw also salary now in this situation what I can do please

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Tareq, If you have any proof you can file a labour complaint. If the company deposits your salary and withdraws using your ATM card, it would be difficult to file a complaint because you don’t have any proof.

  3. Hi Doha Guides team,
    I am here again. Before applying for the 3rd time i decided to go through the NOC i obtained from by prior employer and i noticed that the the computer card number of my current employer was typed wrongly. We have corrected that, double checked everything and submitted again.

    Another thing is that i have spent only 1 year and 1 month with current employer( although in the changing of employer form, this was left blank) Do you think these two things mentioned could have led to a rejection?

    We are waiting for feedback from ADLSA.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Tom, We think the reason was error in computer card number because it is very important (same like your QID). 1 year time is OK since you have NOC. Hopefully it would be approved this time.

  4. Hi doha guides I applied my sponsor change through adlesa now I got approval from mol and got notice period 2 months now during my notice period my current company can cancel my approval if cancel what should I do because my current company not giving noc

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ahmed, Usually companies cannot cancel approval at this stage. If they want to cancel they have to approach Ministry of Labour with a very strong reason. Most companies will not do that.

  5. Dear Sir/Madam,
    I just changed my employer like 1month ago but its not as I expected work environment, is it possible to change again with another employer.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ramesh, You can change again if you have NOC from your employer. If you apply without NOC there is chance of rejection because it has been only one month.

  6. Dear Sir
    7 month before I changed my employer with legal noc I got id and pay card too in current employer and now I want to change the employer again due bad behavior of company, is this possible if possible how..?

  7. I just want to ask , my contract is unlimited duration. I wanted to change job, im working with them for two years and 4 months, then i got an offer letter . Is it possible to change job even im in unlimited contract?.. if my old employer will not give Noc what would be my next step? employer still can continue processing the change of job?. Please help me..

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Konium, You can apply for change of job (even without NOC). Please contact a typing center or your new company’s PRO can help.

  8. Hello, DOHA GUIDE!

    Does this process apply when changing a sponsor from a working visa to a husband’s visa?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi, For changing to husband visa, the process is slightly different. Please contact a typing center. They will prepare the NOC letter and guide you. Make sure your husband meets salary requirement.

  9. Hi Team, this is a great job you are doing.

    The PRO of my new employer applied for the job change on the 2nd of May(2 days after the Eid holidays), and on the 8th of May i got the message ‘Employer change notice is rejected/canceled by ADLSA’ . From our understanding everything was in order, and we even have an NOC and even a termination letter from the old employer stating the end date of my contract. We reapplied yesterday (15th May). Please do you have an idea of what this message means? Could it be as a result of applying immediately after Eid celebrations? Thanks for your anticipated response.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Tom, We don’t think this has anything to do with Eid. Usually this happens either when your old employer raises an objection or you are requesting for multiple changes within a short period. Since you already have NOC from old employer, this too doesn’t seem to be the case. Wait and see what happens to your new application.

      1. Hi Team, i just got message and application was rejected (second time). Honestly this is disheartening, as there is no reason why (as obtained from PRO. ). Please what else could lead to this?
        P.S. My old employer is a manpower contracting agency to my New employer (so i will still be in the same office after transfer). An understanding was reached and all due diligence done regarding the transfer (hence the issuance of NoC) and from undertanding, employee transfer between two companies happen all the time. Wondering why mine is different.

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Tom, Sorry to hear that. If possible, your PRO can check directly with Labour Department.

  10. When checking my ADLSA application, it has an expiring date which mentioned “expired” since it’s been a month when i submitted it. But i did not received any messages from ADLSa if its rejected or approved. It just shows expired and pending approval from ADLSA

  11. Is it possible for my old sponsor to cancel my id card while my change of sponsorship is under review.

    If yes,
    1. Could that affect my sponsorship application under review and what will be the consequence?

    Thank you

  12. Hello Doha Guides,
    Much appreciated for your quick reply to the users. I found that Job Changing Form link in your article seems not opening/ working (Not Found HTTP Error 404. The requested resource is not found). I tried in different browsers/ devices before making this querry. Could you please cross check this issue and give us an update.

    Thanks in advance Doha Guides.

  13. Hello please employer terminated me on Feb gave me two months to check job.My Qid was expired and passed grace period on 31st Jan.I tried checking job without getting I raised a complain to the public I have new offer from another company but they refuse to give NOC.Instead they requested a leave country notice.. please advise I have gone to all labor offices without any help

  14. dear
    i am not went vacation for 4 years
    then what are the entitle for me
    the company has to give me the flight fare for that
    or only ticket at the time i go to vacation

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Maco, You need to check what is written in your contract. You can file labour complaint if you want.

  15. Hi
    My job change approved by ADLSA and notice period finishes….I Don’t want to sign contract because job and work culture was not good as I expected.

    I got now another offer and they will provide new visa so I need to exit and come back.

    How can I come in new visa

    1)Because my application already approved and notice period finishes but not signed contract.

    I would be grateful if you advise how I can come in new visa.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Samar Shah, If your 2nd company hasn’t started the labour contract process online, you can speak to them, decline the offer and the 3rd company can start the process. If 2nd company has started the process, ask them to cancel the application. Anyways it will not affect your existing notice period. It is better to discuss this with the PRO of the new company.

      1. Thanks for reply

        So if second company will not process the labour contract ….can I come in new visa ?

        In that case my first company should cancel my ID also ya

  16. Hi
    My job change is approved and old current employer have put my name need exit permit for traveling, is that will effect once notice period finish for transfer sponsorship or not ?

    Secondly my current stop my march salary also and did not pay end of service till now even it’s 3 days left for my notice period finish .

    Please reply


    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Imran, If your employer doesn’t object to your change of job, exit permit requirement is not an issue. Regarding the salary and ESB, you can file a labour complaint if required. The payments have to be through bank account and you can easily prove that you didn’t receive them.

  17. While my change employer is under process, can I leave qatar for a short vacation and come back ? Pls advice

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Nisthar, Please discuss this with your company PRO as this can vary depending on your status.

  18. Dear Dohaguides team,
    I had the contract for one year and around one month (the contract finishes at the end of the 2023 year) with 3 months of probation. I worked in Qatar for 2 months and 22 days. During the time I rest in my country then I sent an email for notice registration before 5 days finish my probation period (2 weeks notice as the contract mentioned). After that, I sent a registration letter then the old employer confirmed my registration and not issued NOC. I have a QID with expires mid of December 2023 under the old employer but my Qatar phone number is not yet updated QID (with my passport number). I have an offer letter from the new employer. Currently, I am still in my country waiting for the completion document for the changing job. I have some questions please help me to get your answers.
    1. Can I change employer without NOC?
    2. The Old employer says that the QID cannot cancel, is it correct?
    3. The Old employer says that I cannot work in Qatar for one until the QID expiration date, is it correct?
    4. The old employer can object to me working for the new employer?
    5. Please advise me for the new employer transfer QID to the visa.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Aizat, (1) In your case it is difficult to change job without NOC because you are on fixed contract and have not even completed your probation. You can try applying, but we are not sure if it will be approved.
      (2) No, the old employer can cancel your QID if he wants.
      (3) Yes, until the old employer cancels your QID or your QID expires automatically, you cannot get another visa.
      (4) Yes, the old employer can object to your change of job application.
      (5) You have to speak with new employer and agree on sharing the visa costs if he cancels your visa and gives you NOC.

      1. Thank you for reply,
        Reply item 1:
        + I provide more information for clarification, I only work at offshore after I worked at offshore then I come back to my country for resting, and the airplane ticket arranges by the old employer.
        + While I’m resting then I complete my probation. I send notice registration, the time registration = time send an email + 2 weeks
        Please advise me, so that I can change the job without NOC and I complete my probation?

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Aizat, In that case, the resting period will be considered as working period. But still it is less than 1 year. Chances of approval without NOC are less. You can try.

  19. Hi DG,
    Thank you for your support and guidance.
    I have a new query where I am confused a bit, please help me out. I need your advice.
    I changed my sponsorship from one to another, where I have submitted the required documents and it also got cleared. Right now I have received a message from MOL, of notice period till 26th of April 2023, after which I can change my sponsorship online. But the problem here is I am travelling to India by 22nd of April, 2023. Will my travel be a hindrance to delay the process, or do I have to stay inside Qatar during the change process happens.
    Please advice.
    Your Immediate response is very much appreciated.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Arshad, Sorry we cannot give you a solid advice as this is a serious matter and we are not sure about this. Please contact the Qatar Government Helpline at +974-44069999 or [email protected]. You can also check with Ministry of Labour if you want.

  20. Hi
    I have applied through job transfer through ADLSA and ministry approved my application and given notice period end date.

    Now I want to come in a new visa…How can we manage.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Satisjlh, Once your notice period ends, your new employer can upload the new contract on ADLSA. All other process has to be done by your new employer.

      1. Hi
        Sorry the query was if i cancel my ADLSA approved application & if my present employer cancel my QID then is it possible for me to come in new visa.

        Or will there be any ban if I cancel approved adlsa application

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Satisjlj, If your QID is cancelled by employer, you can come back on new visa.

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