History & Background
- Qatar’s vision was to introduce permanent residence in order to attract and retain talent by introducing laws that welcomes long term employment and residence in Qatar.
- Qatar previously only offered foreign nationals to stay up to 3 years in Qatar and allowing them to renew their stay. Qatar’s permanent residence law was approved by the Amir of Qatar in September 2018 as part of the Vision 2030 program, in order to attract more capital and increase foreign investment in the country.
- Other changes demonstrating this policy are the introduction of the Wages Protection System in 2017 and the abolishment of exit permits in 2018.
- Qatar’s residency requirement for permanent residence is five times longer than the residency period of any other country. Jordan is the only other Middle Eastern country that offer permanent residency, however it is based on investment-related factors rather than residence durations.
A Quick Summary
Qatar is the first Arab Gulf nation to allow permanent residency to foreign nationals. This allows foreign nationals who have had legal residency for 20 consecutive years, and to Qatari-born nationals who have had legal residency of 10 consecutive years, to be able to apply for permanent residency.
There are many benefits to obtaining a permanent residency in Qatar such as free health care, property ownership in selected areas and education in government schools. Permanent residents will also be able to enter and leave Qatar without obtaining permission from their employers, which is currently the requirement for all other foreign employees.
The Ministry of Interior are now issuing up to 100 permanent residence permits each year, which were not previously permitted to foreign nationals.
The requirements to obtain a permanent residence in Qatar are as follows:
- You must have held your legal residence in Qatar for 20 years if you were born outside Qatar
- You must have held your legal residence in Qatar for 10 years if you were born in Qatar
- You must have sufficient income to be able to support yourself and your family (if applicable) whilst living in Qatar
- You must not have stayed outside of Qatar for more than 60 days each year during the qualifying period as the time you have spent outside the country will be deducted from the amount of time you have stayed in the country for the consecutive years requirements
- You must have no offences or be known to the Qatar authorities and obtain a good reputation within the country
- You must have some knowledge of Arabic (at the discretion of the authorities)
- All applicants must hold a Qatar Identity Card with an electronic chip (Smart ID Card) with a card reader device to complete the application process
If you are married to a Qatari citizen but are not a Qatari national or you have completed great services to Qatar in a certain way, then you are exempt from having to meet the requirements as previously mentioned for other candidates
- Applicants verify their eligibility on the MOI Website by confirming whether they meet the residency condition above
- The MOI invites eligible applicants to submit supporting documents (this incurs a fee of QAR 3,000)
- Your application will be reviewed by the committee who provide a recommendation to the Minister of Interior, who then makes the final decisions
- Successful applicants will be issued a Permanent Residence Card and will need to pay an additional fee of QAR 3,000.