Qatar is set to become the first Gulf nation to allow some of its long-time foreign residents to become permanent residents.
Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s head of state, earlier this week directed the government to grant permanent residency to 100 expatriates every year.
As part of a shake up in the country’s immigration laws, migrant workers will also be allowed to leave the country without the need of an exit visa.
The new permanent residency law give priority to children born to a Qatari mother, as well as foreign nationals who have lived in Qatar for more than 20 years and are considered “valuable” for their skills.
The most recent figures show that approximately 2.7 million foreign residents live in Qatar, with more set to arrive over the coming years as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Under the new laws, permanent residents will be 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.
There have also been changes to how foreign residents can invest in the country. Expats will no longer be required to have a Qatari citizen as their partner in order to do so, and will therefore be able to own property outright in the country for the first time.
Article published 6th September 2018