Author: Mohammad AzheIn an attempt to crack down on people staying in Qatar illegally the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has advised expats to keep their Residency Permit (RP) cards on them at all times in addition to their valid passports. The RP card is the only document acceptable as proof of a person’s legality of residence in Qatar. Expats must particularly be careful to carry the RP cards with them when they are entering or leaving the country.
The new RP card replaced the old visa stickers affixed on a person’s passport earlier this year. These new cards contain detailed information on residents, helping authorities to keep illegal residents under check.
Following the announcement of the MoI that the new RP card would be treated as the ‘sole proof of identity and valid residency’ for expats, many voiced concerns about lost RP cards. In such instances the Ministry announced that any expat who has been away for less than 6 months from Qatar and has lost his/her RP card would be allowed to enter Qatar and a visa would be issued at the airport of entry. The lost RP card would be flagged as such in the immigration system.
However, if an expat has been away for more than 6 months and has also lost his/her RP card, in such cases the person must get a return visa processed by his/her sponsor or employer, failing to do so the authorities would book the concerned person for violating Residence Law No. 4/2009 and legal action would be taken against the violator.
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