What you need to know about the new permanent residency for expats!

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Qatar has been turning heads around the world with its two latest decisions that have made headlines recently. First, the announcement that certain expatriates will be eligible for permanent residency and second, the announcement of visa-free entry into Qatar for nationals from 80 countries. 

The new development regarding permanent residency, has, however, been a little unclear and confusing for a lot of expats. To clear the confusion, it’s important to note, the following:

  • Permanent residency differs from citizenship.
  • They will receive a permanent residence ID card, but not a passport
  • This card means they can stay in Qatar indefinitely
  • It also means the cardholder can access free education and healthcare
  • Permanent residents will be allowed to own property 
  • They will also be allowed to run some businesses without a Qatari partner
  • Think of it as similar to a green card in the USA. It’s an authorization to live and work in the country, but is not a passport. 

Think of it as similar to a green card in the USA and, just like anywhere else in the world, there are criteria for the permanent residency in Qatar. Eligible expats would have to fulfill certain conditions that may include:

  • Educational and/or job qualifications
  • Expertise in key services
  • Language proficiency
  • Financial investments
  • Being a child of a Qatari woman married to a non-Qatari
  • Providing an outstanding service to the country
  • Possessing "special competencies"

Qatar is one of very few countries in the Middle East, especially in the GCC, that have taken this initiative to reward those that it sees fit with a right to stay here indefinitely. Other countries that provide their residents with options like these are those that belong to the European Union, the United States, Canada, some countries in South America and a few others. 

The step Qatar has taken seems to be a huge one in the right direction and has been a long time coming. Not only will it create a sense of belonging and reward those who have done a service to the country, but will also make room for more positive discussion and help strengthen Qatar economically, socially, and politically. 

What do you think of this latest development? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to give us a like and a share—it keeps us going!