Good News, No Visa Fines to Holders of Expired Residence Permit Outside Qatar

According to the Ministry of Interior, expats who cannot renew their residence permit due to the pandemic will not have to pay a fine when they finally get a chance to renew. This also applies to the holder of the residence permit who is outside the country for 6 months.

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Qatar has only recently allowed expats to return to the country provided they are virus-free or are willing to abide by the quarantine requirements. Applications for special entry are also open starting in August.

Holders of Residence Permit

Penalty Waived for Expired Visa Holders outside the country due to COVID

The Ministry of Interior announced that they will not charge a fine for expats who will renew their expired residence permits.  This is especially applicable to those who arrived in Qatar only recently due to the pandemic.  In the past, a 3 month grace period is given to renew expired residence permits.

As mentioned in their tweet, “Residents who are outside the country due to the Coronavirus #COVID_19 pandemic are exempted from fees resulting from the expiry of their residence permits or exceeding 6 months stay outside the country.”

Individuals who wish to work or reside in Qatar will need to have a residence permit. The employer will facilitate the application of the permit. Processing of application takes about 2-4 weeks. The individual may not leave the country while the permit is in process.

The residency permit is a requirement for many transactions in Qatar, such as availing of health services, applying for a loan, rental accommodation, and many other transactions with the government. The expat can also use the RP to sponsor visas for their immediate family members.

Expats who wish to renew their permits can use the Metrash2 app. The app has Residency Services page, which allows the user to access the following services: issue residency permit, residency cancellation, residency renewal, replace damaged/ lost ID, sponsored names report, reactivate RP, change passport, consume change sponsorship, and residency subscription.

Metrash2 app
Photo Credit: MOI Facebook

The residence permit is valid for one to three years. Individuals with Qatari Smart ID Cards can access the site to process the renewal of their permits.

Beginning in August 2020, employers and freelancers can apply for an exceptional entry permit to be allowed to go back to Qatar. Due to measures taken by the government, the country has lifted some restrictions. And this includes allowing travelers to return to the country. Returning travelers need to present pertinent documents such as passport, Qatar ID, COVID-free certificate, and hotel quarantine agreement.

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