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Posted On: 12 March 2013 03:01 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

Metrash2 simplifies visa rules

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Issuing of exit permits and 42 other key Interior Ministry services, including renewal and issue of visas, have been made simpler with the launch of an innovative electronic service by the Ministry yesterday. Now, a Qatari sponsor with a smartphone and one who is registered for the Interior Ministry’s new service (Metrash2) can issue an exit permit for his foreign employee here from anywhere in the world in seconds. To register for Metrash2, one must have a smartphone and provide his Qtel — Ooredoo — mobile number using a smart ID card that can be bought for QR100 from the Immigration Department at Al Gharafa or any of the 15 service centres of the Interior Ministry. Those keen to use the e-gate service at the Doha International Airport can get the card for QR100 for a year, QR150 for two years and for QR200 for three years. One can register for Metrash2 through self-service kiosks installed at 10 locations in Doha and outside, including at the Qatar Post headquarters, Landmark Shopping Mall, Villaggio Mall, Royal Plaza, passport department at the airport (visa section), Lulu Hypermarket (airport branch), Traffic Department in Madinat Khalifa, Al Meera (Al Wakra), the Museum of Islamic Art and Qatar Foundation. Senior officials of the Information Systems Department of the Interior Ministry held a press conference yesterday to explain about the services offered by Metrash2. Assistant director of the Department, Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Malki, Head of Visa Section at the General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs (GDBPEA), Colonel Abdullah Ahmed Al Ansari, and an official from the technical division of GDBPEA, Lt Abdullah Al Muhannadi, were present at the briefing. Now, one can avail of most of the ministry’s services using Metrash2 from the home or office. More than 6,000 people have registered for the Metrash2 service till now and more than 12,000 exit permits have been issued through the service. Most users have been companies, Al Malky said. The smart ID card can be bought from Al Gharaffa headquarters of the immigration department or from one of the service centres at Mesaimeer, Al Wakra, Industrial Area, HMC, Q-Post, Shahhaniyya, Souq Waqif, Al Khor, Shamal, Zubara, Mesaieed and Umm Sulal. Issuing of exit permits for those under personal and company sponsorships and exit permit for ‘visit visa’ holders under personal and company sponsorships can be done through Metrash2. Renewal of residence permits (RPs) under personal and corporate sponsorships, cancellation of RPs, changing entries in the passport of expatriates and separation of dependants’ names from expatriates’ passports can also be availed of using Metrash2. Other services include renewal of driver’s licence, issuing of replacement for a lost driver’s licence and vehicle permit, issuing of exit permits for vehicles, transfer of vehicle ownership, transfer of easy-to-remember number plates, issuing of vehicle clearance certificate, certificate of cancelled vehicles, certificate of exported vehicles as well as certificate for pre-owned vehicles. Registered traffic violations can be viewed using Metrash2 and fines for traffic violations can be paid through it. Services related to ‘visit visa’ under personal and corporate sponsorships can be completed through ‘Metrash2’ and follow up of applications and approvals can be done. Enquiries about the status of a visa application, visa validity, violation of visa rules, visa fees, fines for delayed arrival, extending visit visa validity (from within Qatar), payment of visa fee and renewal of a visa which has lapsed can also be done using Metrash2. Besides, a Metrash2 user can locate the nearest service centres of the Ministry of Interior on his smart phone and can communicate with the Ministry through this service. The Peninsula