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New laws announced on Permanent Residency for expats

Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani recently issued the Law No.10 of 2018 on Permanent Residency, constituting 13 articles, which has been enforced and is ready to be published in the official gazette.

The Minister of Interior will issue decisions and executive regulations required for implementation of the law. A permanent committee, called ‘Committee for Granting Permanent Residency Permit’, would be set up at the Interior Ministry to look into application based on the provisions of this law.

Conditions for Permanent Residency Permit (PRP)

As per law, the expatriates in Qatar can obtain Permanent Residency Permit (PRP) under certain rules and conditions, which are as mentioned below:

• To obtain PRP, any expat in Qatar should have completed 20 years in the country on a legal ordinary residency permit if he/she is born abroad. An expat born in Qatar would have completed 10 years of their stay in the country on ordinary residency permit. 

• The duration of residency should be uninterrupted (the expat should not have stayed beyond 60days annually outside Qatar) and should be completed prior to date of application. In case the expat stays outside Qatar for a few days, the duration of stay out of country would be deducted from the balance of residency duration in Qatar.

• If the applicant leaves Qatar after applying for permanent residency permit for more than six consecutive months, the Interior Ministry has the right to disqualify his previous residency duration in the country.

• The applicant should have enough income to cover expenditures of himself and his family. A cabinet decision would specify the minimum income of the applicant and exceptional cases.

• The applicant should enjoy good reputation and conduct and should not have been convicted of a dishonourable offence, unless rehabilitated in accordance with the law.

• The applicant should have sufficient knowledge of Arabic language, with exemption from provision of article.

• The law stipulates that certain categories of expats like children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris, expat wife of Qatari national, children of Qatari with naturalization can obtain the PRP, apart from people with special capabilities whose services the State may require.

• A permanent committee, named ‘Committee for Granting Permanent Residency Permit’ will submit its recommendations to the Interior Minister, who will take necessary decision about the applications.

The Interior Minister would grant ID card, called ‘Permanent Residency Permit’ to the eligible candidate. As per law, PRP should not be given to more than 100 people annually. However, the ministry can increase the number of issuance of PRP, on approval from HH the Amir.

Benefits for PRP holders

As per Law No.21 of 2015, the PRP holder does not require any permission to leave the country, and to re-enter.

• PRP holders are offered access to health services in public hospitals, education in government institutions based on the conditions to be issued by a Cabinet decision.

• The spouse of a PRP holder and his children upto 18 years of age can enjoy the same privileges as that of the holder in residency for health and education, based on the provision of this law. But male children of PRP holders who do not complete their university qualification until age 25, and unmarried female children may be excluded from age restriction.

• PRP holders are allowed to invest in activities of national economic sectors to be specified by a Cabinet decision without a Qatari partner to establish a company based on the provisions of law for regulating commercial companies.

• PRP holder can own residential properties and invest in Al Manatiq as per rules to be specified by a Cabinet decision.

A decision would be issued by the Interior Minister to specify the fee for applying PRP, granting PRP ID and validity.

The Interior Minister has the right to cancel PRP or withdraw ID from the holder if he failed to meet the terms and conditions stipulated in Article No.1 of Clauses No.3 of this law or in public interest.

Necessary decisions to implement the provisions of this law would be issued by the Minister of Interior. All concerned authorities are required to implement this law, which is to be published in the official gazette.

Posted on 11/9/2018

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