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Posted On: 9 June 2015 01:32 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

No RP stamp on passport from June 15

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From June 15, no stickers will be put on the passports of expatriates and their dependents being issued residency permit (RP), or whose RP is being renewed.


Instead, a new ID card to be issued will double as proof of an expatriate’s RP. And this card will be known as ‘residence card’.

Interestingly, the word ‘employer’ is being removed from the new ID card and is being replaced by the term ‘host’. By implication, all expatriate workers become ‘guest’ workers.

The new ID card will not mention the holder’s blood group anymore and will instead feature his passport number and date of its expiry. The new ID card will assume utmost importance as it will be the only physical proof of an expatriate’s residency in Qatar.

For the first time, all children will be issued ID cards even though their names may appear on the passports of their parents.

All expatriates must produce the new ID card when they enter and exit the country.

The new ID card can be renewed for one, two, three or five years depending on the category of visa applied for.

Expatriates being issued RP for the first time will have to visit the immigration department (the Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs—GDNBEA) or the service centres of the Ministry of Interior.

For renewal of an RP there were will be no need for one to visit any of the above offices. Renewal can be done online, at self-service kiosks or through Metrash2 service of the interior ministry.

The fee structure for RP issuance and renewal and for ID cards will remain unchanged.

The RP renewal application for family and personal sponsorships can either be done online or in person. To avail kiosks, Metrash2 and online services, people will need a smart ID card. A sticker-free visa regime will save expatriates use of their passport pages and the need to get new passports issued frequently.

The sticker-free RP system is part of the interior ministry’s plans to go paperless in the near future. People could also visit any of the aforesaid offices for RP renewal for which the passport will not be needed. However, in the case of issuance of new passport, one would need to go to one of the aforesaid offices for RP renewal for the first time. Renewal of RPs thereafter will not require visits.

An expatriate with a valid RP, who is overseas, will have to show his new ID card while boarding a flight to Doha as proof of RP. Currently, airlines check RP stickers on expatriate-passengers’ passports. Airlines can alternatively check the validity of an expatriate-passenger’s RP validity online, on the website of the interior ministry.

Expatriates who lose their new ID card overseas will have to undergo long procedures to obtain a ‘return visa’ for Qatar to board a flight to Doha.

Addressing a press conference to announce the introduction of sticker-free RP regime from June 15, senior GDNBEA officials said yesterday that in the case of loss of new ID card overseas, the same rules would apply as did in the case of those who lost their RP sticker-carrying passports in the previous system (one can check details of how to obtain a return visa on the website of the interior ministry).

Brigadier Mohamed Ahmed Al Ateeq, Assistant Director-General of GDNBEA, and Captain Abdullah Al Mohannadi, attended the media briefing. The new system will apply to expatriates with valid RP as and when their RP expires. So they will be issued sticker-free RP when they apply for renewal of RP after its expiry. And at that time the expatriate concerned will be issued the new-look ID card.

There will be no stickers also for visa extension, entry visas and return visas, said the GDNBEA officials. Expatriates as is the case now, must at all times carry their new ID cards with them and produce them on demand.

All airlines in the world have been informed about the new system being introduced by Qatar, said the officials. “The Residence Card is to be treated as the official document to prove an expatriate’s residency in Qatar,” added the officials.