In order to make the procedures easier for the expatriate residents in the light of ongoing technological development taking place in the Ministry of Interior, the General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs (GDNBEA) takes a big step towards development by the abolition of residence permit (RP) stickers in the passports of expatriate residents and replacing them with new Residence Cards, which will be used as identity card at the same time. The new system will be implemented starting from Monday, June 15, 2015 as the GDNBEA has completed all arrangements to launch the service.
This was announced in a press conference held today (8/6/2015) morning at the officers club of the Civil Defense in Doha by the Assistant Director General of the GDNBEA Brigadier Mohamed Ahmed Al Ateeq and officer of the technical office at GDNBEA Capt. Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhannadi.According to this new procedure, the residence permit sticker will not be affixed in the passports of the expatriate residents in Qatar and the new Residence Card will contain all personal data of the holder, stated the Brigadier Mohamed Ahmed Al Ateeq. The new Card will comprise of the same biometric data of the holder and his personal photo. The documents required for issuing the new Residence card will be the same form and documents required for the issuance of the residence permit, he added.
Explaining about the new card, Brig. Al Ateeq said that, there will be two types of cards such as normal Residence Card and smart Residence Card. The smart Residence Card will offer the same services rendered by the present smart ID card as per the request. The passport along with the filled application form will be required for issuing the new Residence Card for the first time and this is in order to register the data of the applicant for the card in the database of the Ministry and the passport will not be required in the time of renewal, except in case of changing the passport.Brig. Al Ateeq underlined that, from the technological aspect, the cancellation of the RP sticker will save the time and efforts of the personal applicants and will reduce the rush of customers at the headquarters of the General Directorate as well as at the service centers of the Ministry of Interior. By abolishing the sticker system, the applicants can complete this service through the self-service machines available at commercial centers or Metrash2 service or the website of the Ministry of Interior and the card will be delivered to the place of applicant through postal service if he demands it.
In case of the company applications, the new procedure will save the time and reduce the efforts of the company PROs as they can apply for the Residence Card electronically. At present, they send us the passports for stamping the RP or renewal by post and we send the passports back after stamping the RPs or renewing it through postal service again. But, If the application is submitted electronically or through Metrash2 or self-service machine or website of the Ministry of Interior after completing all requirements, the General Directorate has to only print the RP Card and send it to the applicant, either he is a person or company and this eases the procedure and completes the process quickly, said the Assistant director general of the GDNBEA.Brigadier Mohamed Ahmed Al Ateeq also added that this move will reduce the number of customers visiting the General Directorate or the service centers of the Ministry of Interior at a large level and this service will be available at all MoI service centers. By the cancellation of the RP sticker, the application for the renewal of the expired residence permits for the employees of the government or private and public companies should be submitted electronically. Family or personal residence permits can be renewed electronically or through the service centers of the Ministry of Interior as well. The renewal will be done for one or two or three years or five years for some categories for the same fee as before, except the fee for postal delivery.
He also said that the stickers for visa extension, entry visas, return visas etc. have been cancelled before and by the cancellation of RP sticker, we have only lone residence permit in its new form which is only one document to prove the identity of the expatriate resident.The new residence cards will be issued automatically and gradually by granting new residence cards for first time applicants and at the time of renewal of RPs, which means that the expatriates who have valid RPs on their passports will not be given new residence cards before the expiry of their residence permit, except in case of transferring the residence permit from old passport to a new one, the assistant director general added.Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Ateeq also stressed that the Residence card requires the separation of the children added on passports of their parents because everyone will have their own Residence cards, even he is one day old. The normal cards will be issued for the children below 16 years and their signature will not be required on them.
On the other hand, an expat resident in Qatar should keep his Residence card always with him and show it to concerned authorities whenever asked to do so because it is the only card to prove his identity and residence permit at the same time. The expatriate has to show up this card on airports, borders and airline companies if asked by the concerned authorities. The authorities in Qatar have informed all countries of the world as well as the airline companies around the world about the new system of Residence Card in Qatar and to consider it as the official document to prove the residence permit in Qatar.The Airline companies can verify the validity and details of the residence permit of the passenger thorough the website of Qatar Interior Ministry www.moi.gov.qa. Also any airline company can make sure of validity of visa of the passenger through the website of the Ministry. The expat resident has to show up RP card along with his passport while enter or exit the country.On his part, Capt. Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhannadi said that the advantages of the new procedure of RP sticker cancellation by replacing it with Residence card can be specified by several points as below:
1- Activation of electronic services on a large scale as the processes of issuing residence permit and its renewal now require sending of the passports to the department to affix the RP stickers on the passports and then resending the passports to their owners. This process can be completed from self-service machines as well as the renewal of residence permits for the expatriates. Until now, the RP sticker was the barrier for use of these machines because the RP stickers can’t be printed through these self-service machines.
2- By abolishing the RP sticker and replacing it with Residence Card, the expatriate can renew his residence permit using his smart id card through this self-service machines quickly and easily.
3- The cancellation of RP sticker will contribute in speeding and easing the process of issuance and renewal of residence permits through electronic services at a large scale, as it will be possible to receive requests for RPs thorough the mentioned systems and after completion of the procedures by the department, the ID cards will be sent via post to their owners.
4- It reduces the time required for a staff to issue and renew RPs through printing ID card, instead of printing sticker for RP and affixing it on the passports.
5- It saves page consumption in the passports of expatriates as many of them suffer from quick filling of the pages in their passports due to the large number of travel seals and RP and visa stickers.
6- It does not need to issue two documents while granting residence permit and renewing it or modifying the data or while transferring the sponsorship as one single document - the new Residence card- is enough for all procedures.
7- This idea also supports the completion of services provided by the General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Expatriates Affairs electronically and applies the vision of Ministry of Interior to move to a paperless admin system.