Qatar extends timeframe for expat residency visas

New arrivals will have 30 days rather than the previous seven under kafala sponsorship law

New expats to Qatar will have 30 days to secure a residency permit under the new sponsorship law, Doha News reported on Tuesday.

The ‘kafala’ legislation is due to come into effect on December 13 after being approved by the Qatari Emir last October.

One of the key changes in the new law is that expats will apply to the government rather than their sponsor for an exit permit, making it easier for some to leave the country or change jobs.

At present, new expats are required to process a residency visa within seven days. A previously unreported change introduced by the new legislation is that this will be extended to 30 days, according to Doha News.

Failure to begin the visa process in time could result in a fine of up to QR10,000 ($2,746), the newspaper said.

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