Qatar remains a preferred choice among overseas Filipino workers, with approximately 250,000 Filipinos currently employed in the Gulf country, according to the Qatar Visa Center (QVC).
“Filipinos going to Qatar for work must obtain a work visa through their sponsor in Qatar and subsequently complete their biometric enrollment, undergo medical examinations, and sign their work contracts by visiting the Qatar Visa Center in Manila before traveling to Qatar,” the QVC said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.
The QVC said that it operates under Qatar’s Ministry of Interior. Its centers handle administrative and non-judgmental tasks, including biometric enrollment and medical services.
Some applicants may need to undergo paid or unpaid medical investigations following protocols set by the Qatar Ministry of Health (MoH), according to the agency.
“Applicants requiring these advanced medical investigations are referred to as medical referrals and such investigations are referred to as medical referral tests,” it said.
Some applicants may also be asked to repeat tests such as X-rays or do further tests for several reasons and will need to visit an approved external lab or hospital.
Such facilities are accredited by the Philippine Department of Health and are able to conduct the required tests, the agency noted.
“These re-tests will require applicants to revisit the center and complete the process at no additional cost to the applicant. Usually revisits only take a day, however, in special cases, several revisits may be required as medical approvals depend on a lot of factors including the applicant’s current health status, guidelines, and protocols defined by the Qatar authorities.”
TYPES OF MEDICAL REFERRALSAdditional X-ray images – Applicants may be required to revisit the Qatar Medical Center for additional X-ray images based on MoH instructions.
Additional lab tests – If additional lab tests are required, then blood samples are sent to external labs for further testing.
External Specialist tests – Applicants may be referred to specialists at approved hospitals for further tests based on MoH guidelines (may require the collection of referral letter/ document submission).
REASONS FOR MEDICAL STATUS TO REMAIN PENDINGThe QVC said that it submits the medical test reports directly to Qatar authorities, and that it usually takes 10-15 business days to determine whether the applicant is fit or unfit to work in Qatar.
“In certain cases, the respective Qatar Authorities may take longer for additional investigations which may delay the declaration of results,” the agency said.
Applicants may track the progress of their visa application through the track application or status check section by visiting the QVC website.
If an application status shows “under process” for longer than the usual processing time, the applicant can contact QVC customer service for assistance, the agency said. Applicants may also contact the agency via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or use the chat option available on the website www.qatarvisacenter.com.
“They will be able to provide you with more information on the status of your application and advise you on what steps to take next. As a reminder, the Qatar Visa Center and the Qatar Medical Center are not involved in the decision-making process when it comes to visa applications.”
Applicants may also need to pay for advanced medical tests conducted at approved external hospitals or labs and will receive a receipt for the payment, according to the QVC.
Blood samples may be collected at the center and sent to external labs to ensure security and prevent fraud.
The QVC also has a “lounge service,” which entitles the applicant to a one-to-one service with a dedicated staff member ensuring a prioritized biometric enrollment and medical test.
“To access our lounge service, kindly inform our reception on the day of your appointment,” it said. This service is optional and does not affect or guarantee a faster visa or medical processing by the Ministry of Interior, the agency added.