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Qatar Expat Life

Dependent and family visa information

21 March 2019

All newcomers entering Qatar to work and live, will require a Work Residence Permit (referred to as RP), for which, they will require a Qatari employer (typically a company or an individual).

It is the responsibility of the employer to handle all the necessary paperwork on behalf of the expatriate, in order to help the expat obtain the Residence Permit.  For this, the employer will have to first arrange for a temporary visa, and later get it converted to Work Residency Permit, and this process will typically take nearly 4 weeks or longer. However, the applicant should not leave the country during this period of conversion from temporary visa to permit.
Once the expat receives the Work Residence Permit, he or she can personally sponsor their immediate family members (spouse or children) to join them to live in Qatar. With the granting of residence permit, the expat also gains access to several other services, and can apply for permits, licenses, sign a rental accommodation agreement, apply for a loan etc.

The residence permits can be renewed annually by the employer.

qatar family visa

Family Residence Visa

Expats are allowed to sponsor their immediate family members. Every family member, including infants, should possess an individual Family Residence Visa to live in Qatar. The visa can be purchased for a period of one to five years and will be stamped in the passport of the family member. 
Procedure to apply for Family Residency Visa or Family Residency Permit:  Points to be noted:

  • Profession : If you are applying for a Residency Permit for your wife, you should be under the professional visa category. Engineers, Technicians, Lawyers, Doctors, and such others fall under this category. Those belonging to labour category like painters, plumbers etc., may not fall under the professional visa category.
  • Salary : If your salary is in the range QR7000 to QR9000, you are eligible to apply for a family visa, but, you should provide proof that your company provides you with accommodation allowance or accommodation. This should be mentioned in the employment contract. However, if your salary is QR10,000 or more, you can apply even without the accommodation proof. But, your tenancy contract should be attested from Qatar Municipality (Baladiya).
  • Tenancy Contract : The tenancy contract or ‘proof of living’ is mandatory. If your salary is over QR10,000 you just need to get your tenancy contract attested from the Qatar Municipality. But if your salary is in the range 7000 to less than 10,000, although you are eligible to apply for the permit, you should show that you are provided accommodation allowance or show proof that you live in company accommodation. This allowance should be mentioned in your employment contract. And, you will have to take the municipality attestation for rental house. 
  • On the other hand, if your company has provided you accommodation, then you should request a tenancy contract in your company letter head, stating that you are staying in a company provided accommodation, and that space is individually for you. Then, get this letter attested by the municipality.
  • Marriage Certificate: If your marriage has been registered outside of Qatar, you have to attest your original marriage certificate from your respective country embassy/consulate in Qatar, and then go to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, West Bay, Qatar.  If your marriage is registered in the Qatar Family Court, then you can take a copy of attestation from the court. 

Documents required:

Here are the mandatory documents that you need to keep ready when visiting the emigration office. The application needs to be submitted at ‘Gharaffa Emigration Office’, Madinat Khalifa.

Application Form for Residential Visa (can be printed at any typing centre)

  • A copy of your ID card
  • Passport Copy  
  • Copy of Employment Contract
  • Tenancy Contract
  • Six months bank statement (mainly showing your salary credits for six months)
  • Copy of your highest educational certificate
  • No Objection Certificate from your company (in Arabic), mentioning your name, nationality, QID, profession, salary, accommodation allowance if applicable, and spouse name with passport number.
  • Spouse Passport copy

Note: It is better to keep the originals too with you, for verification purpose.

Procedure after submission of application and documents:

Once the papers are submitted, you will be given a receipt with application number. Your application can be tracked at the MOI website https://portal.moi.gov.qa/wps/portal/MOIInternet/services/inquiries/visaservices/visaapprovaltracking

If your application is still under process after 7 working days, or if you notice an error message, you may visit the emigration office and inform at the reception that your application is still pending.

Once, the residence visa for your spouse is issued, the next step is payment. The payment may be made from Metrash Application from your phone with credit card or you can visit any emigration office near you and pay with your debit or credit card.

Thereafter, you may have to take your spouse to the medical commission at Messaimer. Keep the printed visa copy with you too. A fee of QR100 may have to be paid for the medical procedure through your card. The medical report will take 3 days for processing. You may also have to follow it up with a blood test at any of the private clinics.

This is followed by a fingerprint process at Mesaimeer emigration for 1 year or 5 year QID. Once, the printed ID is collected from the Emigration, the procedure for Family Residence Visa is complete.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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