How to Change Job in Qatar Without NOC (Sep 2023)

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 9 September 2023.

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 latest labour law announced in 2020, all workers in the State of Qatar, whether on fixed-term contracts or opened-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 a 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: 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 SMS from 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 request 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. I got a job offer and need Noc but my current employer hr not giving and said in your contract will not provide. Now what shall I do I have offer letter other company and they give one month time to get Noc or resignation letter with sign and seal that also they not provide.

    1. Hi Shaikh, If your contract contains any clauses that restrict transfer, it may not be possible. However, you need to check your contract and the duration of your employment first. Please contact a reputable typing center; they will be able to review and advise you accordingly

      1. there is no any clauses because I have offer letter and it’s manpower company. they simply threatening me. And I don’t know what steps shall I take if I change sponsorship it’s takes 2 months. and other company they given 1 month time to join…and they if u get resignation letter with seal and sign they accept. but my current hr they just sign.. without seal. is it ok to apply.. pls guide

        1. Hi Shaikh, If there is no clause in contract there is one option which has worked for many others in the past. Send your resignation as an email to company’s official email. Take a full screenshot with the email address, subject, date, content etc. Attach the screenshot when applying for Change of Employer online. This has worked for many applicants in the past. Hopefully it will be accepted by Ministry.

  2. Hi,
    Can we change job in contract period
    My contract is for 2yrs and i have completed 1yr
    In this case can we change job
    please reply

  3. Ganga Bahadur karki Doli

    my Name is Ganga and I am working as a senior storekeeper but I have retail industry also and I want to join retail industry. I have almost completed my two years contract now I want to change my employer and he is not willing to give an noc. Therefore, I need your assistance how to get noc

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ganga, If you have a job offer, you can apply for change of employer without NOC. You can seek the assistance of any PRO or typing center for more info.

  4. Hi. yes sir, I have evidence, it’s a voice message of new employer who is paid her 30k for 3 staff, and some screenshots of message of old employer that indicated that she is asking me I need to pay 10k before she give NOC.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Belle, If you want you can go ahead with a labour complaint. Please note the court procedures may take long time to complete.

  5. Hi, but what if she was sold me and 2 another staff to another employer for 10k each.? is she had a right to sold the staff in another company that she is the only one who can choose it.? and she did illegal termination without 1 month notice.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Belle, Legally your employer can only sell their business. If the business is sold to another person, the employees within that business can be transferred to new sponsor. If you raise a labour complaint that your employer sold you for QR 10k, you should have some evidence to prove that.
      Regarding the notice period, it only applies to resignation (not termination). The employer can terminate an employee by paying the salary dues and end of service gratuity (unless your contract has a clause).

  6. it’s milcah, yes am a domestic worker but the old sponsor is currently not within the country he left back to his country but he gave me Noc and his I’d copy so what can I do since he is not within qatar

  7. Hi, what should I do, if our previous employer within 5 months closed the company or her salon business and did not give us 1 month notice before it’s closing, and the employer sold me with another 2 salon staff, she sold us to another employer for QR. 10k thousand each staff, and so we were forced to signature and agree with the new employer that we would work to her company and also because of the payment that she paid to my previous employer. Because if we do not accept to be sold to this company, the previous employer told me that we need to pay her QR. 10k , and if not pay her, she will going to cancel my QID and send me back to the Philippines. This previous employer told me that Qatar Labour Law is nothing can do about my situation because she is a Qatari lady and she is working in the government.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Belle, Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately your employer has the right to cancel your visa if your service is not required. However they cannot force you to pay money to them. If you are not being paid for your work you can file a labour complaint.

  8. I got a job offer and I selected, receive offer letter. Now how can I change my current employer. shall I go through ADLSA or other option to take release from my current employer. please guide

    1. Hi Ali, You have to submit a resignation letter and get it signed by the employer. If they won’t sign on it you can send an email and take a screen shot of that. If you can get NOC from your employer, collect that (it would be helpful to change easily). Then you have to apply for Change of Employer on ADLSA website. Your new company’s PRO may be able to help you or you can seek the help of a typing center.

      1. I submitted my employment change application last week. And today i received SMS about notice period end date which will be 11/09/2023. I have worked with my current employer for 6 years.
        And there is instructions: To complete your request, please check with MOI( Genaral director of passport) after 6 days.
        What does it mean. How to proceeds.
        Kindly guide
        Thanks & regards
        Raj N.

      2. Thank you so much Sir…and one more thing our company never sign resignation letter and I will try to get Noc . Thanks again 👍

  9. Thanks for the detailed guide for change of employers. However, I have a question. My wife is working in Qatar and she was under her employer’s visa. Recently I applied for family RP and it got approved. Can I follow the same process to change sponsors in this case?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Kajan, Yes, you should apply for change of sponsor through Ministry of Labour website. If needed you can get the form filled by a typing center.

  10. hi am milcah, I was working in a house for almost 5 years but now my sponsor travel and gave me Noc then I got another job offer in company. we applied two times now it’s becoming rejected what is the possible reason

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Milcah, Sorry to hear that. If you have NOC it should be approved. To know the exact reason you need to check with the PRO or Typing Center who initiated your “Change of Job” request.

      1. it’s milcah again from pro side he says everything is ok the problem is that my sponsor left the country and when I went to the labour they said they need sponsor to go to the labour….. so my question is ,, is it necessary for sponsor to be within to get approved by labour or my sponsor can do it electronically maybe through his phone

        1. can someone explain how to do it electronically since my sponsor is out of the country and in the labour they said they need him so as I get approved

        2. Hi Milcah, Sorry about the confusion. If you are a domestic worker trying to change sponsor, may be the Labour Department would need authorisation from the old sponsor.

  11. hi im rushiba i work in the cleaning company i finish my 2years with them i asked noc but they not willing to give me…i file a resignation letter to the office but they dont reply…..

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Rushiba, If you have a new job offer, you can apply for “Change of Job” on the Ministry of Labour website. If you don’t have a job offer and want to leave the country, apply for “Leave Country Notification” on the Ministry of Labour website. It is better to do this through a typing center. Make sure not to leave the country before cancelling Qatar ID.

  12. Hi, I just need an advice from Labour, as a worker I just want to know about my rights against employer. I’ve been worked in the salon for 5 months, my employer will going to close her salon because it’s down. She has a plan to give me NOC but she said I need to pay her 10k, or I need to find new employer who is willing to pay her 10k exchange of my NOC. But she hired me as a local hire, and she doesn’t spent any amount to the agency for my employment, she only spend for my QID and process of my Visa transfer which are obligation of every employer. I hope labour can advice me if what I need to do. Thank you.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Bella, Your employer cannot demand money from your for giving NOC. You can file a labour complaint if you are ready to move legally.

  13. I resigned last August 2022 and until now I did not receive my gratuity because I need to pay the transfer visa as per my previous company. but I worked for 22 months in this company and they want to deduct the whole payment for the transfer visa. please give me advise. thanks!

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi MEJ, As per Qatar Labour Law they can’t deduct your gratuity after working 22 months. You can file a labour complaint if you are ready to move legally.

  14. Hi Doha Guide Team,
    After applying 2 times in ADLSA it rejected with message ” for not meeting the conditions”, can you give me idea what would be the exact reason for rejection. What are the documents to be uploaded for change over.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ahamed, You need the signed “Change of Employer Form” and resignation letter. You will need the old employer name and new employer details (including Computer Card Number) to fill up the “Change of Employer Form”. If you haven’t already, kindly contact a typing center. They will hep you fill up the “Change of Employer Form”.

  15. Greetings,

    Thanks a lot for the information, it’s really very useful. If you can provide additional information for the documents to be uploaded for change will be more helpful.

    Thanks Once again.

  16. I completed 8 years in our company, I went vacation after I came back 70 days ,manager stop my duties without any notice period .

    Pleaee advise.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Shafeeque, Your company has the right to terminate without notice period. Make sure you receive your end of service benefits.

  17. Hi,
    It is left with 7 days for me to finish my probation period and all of a sudden the employer sent a colleague to tell me to stop coming to work.
    The employer has refused to pay my salary with an excuse of using it to defray the cost he incurred on the change of sponsorship.
    Please, what should i do?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Ras Arafat, Your status is not clear. Did you get a new job and apply for change of sponsorship before completion of probation?


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