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. hi iam come back india my sponsor my contract terminated how many days to finished terminat after can I apply new contract

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Imran, If your old visa is already cancelled and there is no ban, you can apply for new visa immediately.

  2. Sir… I have applied employer change because my current employer not giving Noc and I receive 2 month notice period. I applied company he told me he will give paper to work the once I receive job offer. But my new employer saying they can’t wait 2 month for completion notice period…Is that any other way or what shall I do. or is it possible to less notice period time through labor department. please guide

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Shaikh, To reduce your notice period you need the official letter from your old employer. Try to request to them once again.

  3. Sir i worked in a company for 4.5 years there they did not make work permit.i was working under husband i got new job ,new company want to make work i need any realse letter from previous company ? For applying pcc new company provided nomination letter and letter from aldsa .on metrash release letter from previous employer also asking.NOC from husband is enough in place of release letter?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Liua, If you were working in a company without their employment visa or work permit, they are not officially linked to you. In this case, you don’t need any release from them. NOC from husband is enough.

  4. Sir I have a query…I applied change of employer application and I receive 2 month notice period..and I have a offer other company to inform me join as soon as possible they can’t wait to 2 months completion of notice period. Can I apply there my EC number to that new company visa .is it possible.please guide. I don’t want loose that offer.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Shaikh, You need to request your current employer for removal of notice period. If you can get an official letter (in Arabic) from the current sponsor that they are releasing you without notice period, you can submit that to the Ministry of Labour and change your current application.

  5. im working as a nurse in a nursing company and i need to change my job.. my work contract, i think company didnt attached in moi site..because when i check, it shows no record i got a good job opportunity having high salary in other private sector.. when i asked noc, company rejected my application for noc… what can i do? and is there any possible way to change my job…. thankyou

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Aaaa, It will depend on the type of your contract and how long you have worked. You may be eligible to change even without NOC. Please contact a typing center for assistance.

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Shekh, If you have completed a reasonable amount of time you may be eligible to change without NOC. Please contact a typing center or PRO.

  6. Do i need to wait until their verification finish, or i can apply the job change with supporting document like salary certificate from bank , its clearly mentioned the salary transfered details

  7. I have applied for Sponsor ship change , received otp on 10th Oct for application , but still not received EC number even after 2 days .

    How long it takes to get EC number and further approval?

  8. I’ve completed a five-year at my current company, but for the last four months, I haven’t been receiving my salary. Can I switch to a new company without serving a notice period

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Mohamed, To switch without serving notice period you will have to file a complaint with Ministry of Labour and prove that you didn’t receive salary for four months. If you cannot prove that it is better to change with notice period.

      1. How can I prove this? I filed a complaint with the labor department two weeks ago, stating that I haven’t received my salary for the past four months, and they have my passport. After they called me and recorded my case this enough proof?

        1. Do i need to wait until their verification finish, or i can apply the job change with supporting document with salary statement that will clearly see that i am not receiving any salary from company

        2. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Mohamed, You can apply for change of job. When you fill the Change of Employer form you can tick the box at the bottom that says “my employer violated my right under the employment contract”. Get a letter typed in Arabic that says your employer has not paid your salary and you want to change without notice period. Once your application is submitted the officials will review your request and decide on that.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Paul, This is generally safe for employees as it will be under the Ministry’s guidance.. If you are facing problems from the employer you can also file a labour complaint.

  9. when i login to employee change e-service a message displayed
    ” You have a request in progress, you can’t use the e-service”
    but i did not make any requests.
    kindly what is the solution?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi JAK, You need to contact the Ministry of Labour helpline (16505 or 44068979) and check for the reason.

  10. Hi. i’ve paid every fine which was fined against me. Now changing from domestic to company, its now a problem. i get rejected anytime i apply. I don’t know the reason behind that. meanwhile, i’ve paid every fine.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi John, Sometimes it is not due to any fine. Please speak with your sponsor and see if he can help.

  11. What a joke. Even the MOL says that employers asking for NOC is still legal and they don’t know what I was talking about when I called earlier today.

    Like everything here, any “improvement” is just a smoke screen and rotten with hypocrisy

  12. Hi. I just want to ask, how if the employer is have a friend in Labour or she has connection in Labour Department, and she is working in government, is he/she have a power to reject the labour complaint of a worker? and a power to ruin the worker and make a problem to workers? because she was demand money from workers 10k each worker, before she will give NOC., or the Labour being still fair for workers and employer?

  13. Hi, is it possible to change job without NOC? I’ve been work 5 months in my last company, but since this company already closed because it’s down, and this employer she doesn’t want to give me NOC because she wants me to pay her 10k riyal for my NOC, or either, she wants me to find new sponsor who is willing to pay her 10k before give me NOC., is it legal and required to pay her 10k, even though I am local hired, and if she closed her business, it’s not my fault. Do I still have a rights for this issue? what if my last employer have a connection in Labour I still have a rights?

    1. Hi Ayah, Your employer cannot demand money from you for transfer. You can try for change of sponsorship without NOC, but there is a chance of rejection because you have only completed 5 months. Try to reach a compromise with your employer. If you feel your employer will not give NOC or cancel your visa, you can consider filing a labour complaint.

  14. Hello, I just want to ask if ever I need to cancel my transfer after received the 2nd message approval in Adsla, do I need to pay in Labour to cancel my transfer? or is it free of charge? and how many days the process to cancel it? And is it okay to transfer to another company without NOC?

    1. Hi Ayah, We are not aware about any fees for cancelling an existing application. Processing time varies from case to case. Sometimes it may take few weeks. You can try transfer without NOC. It would be approved if your employer has no objection. For more information please contact a typing center as they can advise based on your situation and labour contract.

  15. Hi!! DG Team
    I submitted application for EMPLOYER CHANGE on 5th sep and got first msg from ADLSA on 7.09.23 and now it’s 18 days already I haven’t receive 2nd Msg and the status is under review.
    As per my colleague I am supposed to receive 2nd msg within 2 weeks.
    what shall I do? kindly guide me

      1. Thanks for the kind response.
        I understand that processing times can vary, but l am bit concern that next month 20th my QID is also going to be expired. what if I didn’t receive the approval msg before my QID Expire?? what r the precaution that I should take? My humble request plz suggest me something about this. 🙏

        1. Hi Ujjawal, QID has a grace period of 90 days. After 90 days there is a fine of QR 10 per day. It shouldn’t take that long.

  16. Sir.. I am changing employer sponsorship to work other company because my current employer not giving release paper. and I question is how would I apply my pending salary and service gratuity it’s before leaving or I can request after to join new employer…pls guide

    1. Hi Shaikh, You can request your employer when your notice period starts. Your employer has to give it to you by the last working day. If they don’t give even after that you can file labour complaint.

  17. Hi DG,
    Is it possible for the current employer to submit any paper in Labour dept against the job transfer in any competitor company ???
    They did with one of my colleague…
    Im also worrying if they can do the same in my case, I already applied for job change through MOL and got the first message from ADLSA 2 weeks ago, now still under review…..
    Please advise… I heard that my present company is trying to prevent my transfer in Labour dept….
    Awaiting for your valuable advice… Thank you…

    1. Hi Anwar, Yes, your company can appeal against your transfer if there is a valid reason. Common reasons include a non-competence clause in your labour contract, or that you didn’t complete the minimum duration of contract etc. This will be considered by Ministry as per the merit.

      1. Hi DG, Thank you for your kind reply, kindly advise how I can avoid the rejection of my application even if my employer try to prevent the transfer in labor dept….
        Kindly let me know…Is there any way to come out of this issue???

        1. Hi Anwar, Sorry, If the employer has a valid (genuine) reason, MOL will cancel the transfer. If you feel the employer is being unfair you can file labour complaint (but this may take a long time to resolve).

        2. Hi DG, Thank you for your valuable reply….
          FYI, I have completed 7 and half years with the current employer…. even if they wants to appeal in the MOL, what will be the result…??

  18. We work in this company morethan 5 years and now we want to change job. But once we receive an offer from new company. Our sponsor dont want to give us noc and dont allowed anyone to change job/sponsor and saying they are the one who give us visa so they dont want to give noc because we are not local hire. Is this right? Can we still have the right to change sponsor/job?

    1. Hi Don, You can apply without NOC. Since you have already completed 5 years it would be approved. Submit resignation to company email and include the screenshot of that when applying for job change.

  19. I have query . that my current employer not giving Noc and a seal in resignation letter.So one of my friend told me you change your sponsorship and I will get Noc and approval within a month from different party. So I can give that Noc to my new employer to process my job visa…Is it true..can I go ahead because I don’t want loose that job opportunity.pls guide

    1. Hi Shaikh, If you can change sponsorship without NOC, why do you need to change to another sponsor? Why can’t you directly change to new employer?

      1. Sir I ask my new employer to change or do help…but they are saying we have a standard company and we need only Noc from current or Resignation Letter with seal…but other they can’t help. So that’s why I am changing to other sponsorship. and I have only 1 month time or else I loose that good opportunity..pls help

        1. Hi Shaikh, If you are confident your friend will help you, you can proceed with that. However you need to double check if Ministry of Labour will allow two transfers within one month. We suggest that you contact a reputed typing center or PRO service and discuss with them.