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Posted On: 11 March 2021 06:35 pm
Updated On: 11 March 2021 08:45 pm

Qatar resident launches petition to resume family visit visa

ILQ Staff
ILQ Staff
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A resident in Qatar has recently started a petition to resume the issuance of the family visit visa for Indian private-sector employees. He started the petition "Family Visit Visa for Indians working in Qatar under private sector companies" using the website on 28 February 2021.

Speaking to the team, he said that he started the petition to seek help from the Indian Embassy in Qatar. Along with other people in the same boat, he is hoping that the Indian Embassy will intervene and set up a dialogue with the authorities in Qatar.

As of 9 March 2021, over 500 people have signed the petition. Among those who have shared their reasons on the petition page, one thing is clear - they all want to be reunited with their families. They mentioned that they have been waiting for approximately a year now since the issuance of the family visit visa has stopped. The separation from their families has taken a toll on everyone involved.

One person who commented said that she's looking forward to reuniting with her husband who's in Qatar. She was stuck in her home country after giving birth to their newborn child. Another is worried about his daughter who might not get admitted to a school because the issuance of new resident visas has stopped. There are also newlywed couples who have been separated because of the pandemic.

After a false post circulated on social media recently, the Embassy of Qatar in India issued a clarification on 7 March 2021 that Qatar is NOT issuing any new visit/ family/ tourist visas. In the Embassy's tweet, Indians awaiting the resumption of visa issuance have expressed their grievances regarding the matter.

Residents from other nationalities have also been clamoring for the reopening of visa issuance for families. Some people might question why don't the residents just go back home to visit their families. However, there are certain factors and reasons that can hinder a resident to do so such as the travel expenses, quarantine requirements, leave not being approved by the employer or even the fear of losing one's job.

Since 9 March 2020, Qatar has stopped the entry of arrivals from 15 countries including India, which included visas upon arrival and temporary visitors, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Qatar had started the Exceptional Entry Permit from 1 August 2020 to help facilitate the return of residents who got stuck abroad due to restrictions.

Qatar has promised that anyone residing in the country will be eligible for the free COVID-19 vaccine and so far more than 10% of Qatar's entire adult population has received at least one vaccination dose since December 2020. Currently, Qatar has been reporting over 460 new cases of COVID-19 per day and the pandemic is still ongoing.

As a community, we have a responsibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by following the precautionary measures set by the government. This includes wearing a mask properly, maintaining a safe distance from others, installing the Ehteraz app, following quarantine requirements, and frequent hand washing. The lesser the new cases there are, the faster it'll be for the country to open up and for us to go back to a normal life.

What are your thoughts on this? When do you think Qatar will resume visa issuance? Should the Qatar government resume family visas on a case-to-case basis? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!