How permanent residency law in Qatar works?

The Ministry of Interior held a press conference on Monday, 10. September 2018 about the permanent Residency Law No. 10 of 2018 and the procedures for granting the Permanent Residency Card. The conference was attended Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Ateeq, Director General of Passports and Brigadier Salem Saqr Al Muraikhi, Director of Legal Affairs Department. At the beginning of the conference, Brigadier Salem Saqr Al-Muraikhi noted Qatar’s continuous efforts to provide better services to citizens and residents. He said that the idea of ​​Permanent Residency Card has been underway for some time, and was not the result of any specific event.

“The officials in the country always wanted to provide better services for those living on this land”, he stressed. “The importance of the Permanent Residency (PR) Card lies in its appreciation and recognition of some categories of long-term residents whereas it is an extension to fundamental constitutional concepts as it appears clearly in the speeches of HH the Amir when the citizen are paired with the residents.” He further added. He also noted that this initiative will increase the investment and attract more capital leading to the economic growth in the country while the State can benefit from the persons of special competencies as well.

The aim was also to find mechanisms to provide a better service to the resident who is competent and giving. As well, there are categories that are of interest to the state, such as the Qatari children, he said. “As a result this law was developed and various authorities in the country discussed it before it was issued finally couple of days back. It will be implemented once it is published in the Official Gazette”, he explained.

Brig. Al-Muraikhi explained the conditions for granting PR card

  1. The applicant should have a continuous normal legal residency in Qatar for 20 years if born outside and 10 years if born in the country, provided that the period of residence is consecutive and prior to the date of applying for a PR permit. The clause of continuous stay is not undermined by the applicant staying outside the country for 60 days in a year. In all cases this period shall be deducted from the time calculated as residency in the country.
  2. The applicant should have enough income to meet his needs as well as his dependents.
  3. The applicant should enjoy good conduct, and reputation, and have not been convicted by a final ruling inside Qatar or outside Qatar in crimes that undermine honesty, trust and fame unless he was reinstated to his former status.
  4. The applicant should be fluent in Arabic language.

The following categories are exempted from the above conditions:

1-    The children of a Qatari woman married to a non-Qatari man.

2-    The non-Qatari husband of a Qatari woman

3-    The non-Qatari wife of a Qatari man

4-    The children of Qataris by naturalization.

5-    Individuals who have done great services to the country

6-    Individuals with special competencies needed by the country.

Brig. Salem Al-Murakhi pointed out  to the rights and privileges of the PR card holder as follows:

1- The PR card holder may receive treatment and education in government institutions within the State in accordance with the conditions and regulations.

  1. The spouse of the cardholder and his or her children shall enjoy the privileges granted to the PR cardholder pertaining to residence, health and education until the age of 18 years.
  2. The holder of the Permanent Residency card shall have the right to invest in the activities of the national economy sectors without a Qatari partner. The establishment of the company shall be in accordance with the law governing the law of commercial companies.
  3. The PR cardholder may own the real estate for housing and investment according to the conditions and regulations.

2- The cardholder may leave the country and return to it during the period of its validity without obtaining any consent or permit.

Explaining the measures taken to implement the Law by the Ministry of the Interior, he said that a working group has been set up to prepare the implementation of this law through the preparation of the necessary decisions to implement it and to select the headquarters and arrange the necessary human and technical resources and electronic programs. Several meetings were held with different law enforcement authorities, namely the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Municipalities and the Environment as part of implementation, he added.

Regarding the mechanism one can apply for the PR card, Brigadier said that application submission will be made available through Ministry of Interior website or one of its electronic applications. The applications will be subjected to legal review and compliance to meet all legal requirements and other conditions by legal auditors of the Committee. Then the applications will be submitted to the Committee which will issue its recommendations on such applications.  In case of approval, the applications will be referred to General Directorate of Passports to issue Permanent Residency Card.

He pointed out that specific and clear criteria will be set up by the competent authorities to implement these standards to ensure the implementation of the law to achieve its purpose and provide more facilities and services to residents who have a Permanent Residency card. Brigadier Mohammed Al Ateeq, Director General of Passports said that the Ministry of Interior relies on providing its services through an electronic system. Therefore, an electronic network has been built to implement this law and has been tried and tested. “A committee has been formed based on this law, which will decide on these applications, receive them, discuss them and issue the relevant decisions”, he said. Brig. Al-Ateeq pointed out that a working team was formed to implement the mechanisms that will receive the applications and hand over the cards in the event of the completion of their procedures. As well, a PR card application form has been prepared with all required data, he added.

Sources and photo-credits: QGN, Gulf Agency