Qatar Becomes The First Gulf Nation To Grant Permanent Residency To Expats

One hundred permanent residencies each year to be given to children of Qatari mothers and skilled expatriates.(source Aljazeera )

Qatar will soon be the first Arab Gulf nation to allow some of its long-time foreign residents to become permanent residents.

Issuing a new law, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani directed the government on Tuesday to grant permanent residency to 100 expatriates every year. The law also allows most migrant workers to leave the country without an exit visa.

The new permanent residency law gives priority to children born to a Qatari mother, as well as foreign nationals who have lived in the country for more than 20 years and are considered “valuable” for their skills.

City of Qatar

Some two million foreign residents live in Qatar.

Under the new law, permanent residents are entitled to the same social security as Qatar’s citizens, including free healthcare and education in government schools. They will also be given priority in government jobs.

‘Gesture of appreciation’

As permanent residents, foreign expatriates investing in Qatar will no longer be required to have a Qatari citizen as their partners. The new law also allows them to own real estate in the country.

Once the new law is implemented, permanent residents will be able to enter and leave the country without permission from their employers, which is required for other residents.

The landmark law also allows expatriates serving in the Qatari armed forces to apply for permanent residency.

A Sudanese citizen, serving in the Qatari army for decades, told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity that he is in the process applying to become a permanent resident.

This law would serve as a gesture of appreciation to many of our Arab brothers who have lived among us for decades and made an honourable stand supporting Qatar against the siege by the neighbouring countries.


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