Guide : What to do if you lose Qatar Residence Card while abroad

In June 2015, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior had introduced new Residence Permit cards for expatriates, thereby abolishing the system of RP stickers in passports. In effect, the new Residence Permit cards are now acting as identity proof as well as travel document for the expatriates.

With the new system, one problem many people face is losing the Residence Permit card while abroad.

There are two solutions if you face such a situation :

Solution 1 : You can get a return visa on arrival at Doha airport

According to a recent Facebook post by MoI, you can get a return visa at Doha airport without resorting to your employer. The conditions for this is :

In this case, you can get return visa on arrival and your Residence Card will be marked as lost in the immigration system. Later on, your employer/sponsor can apply for replacement of Residence Card.

The problem with this approach

Even though this is a good solution by Qatar MoI, it does not address the requirements at port of boarding. Airline or immigration authorities in your home country (or port of boarding) may not allow you to travel without a valid travel document.

Here is one alternative, that has worked with some people:

If you have a photocopy of the Residence Permit card, you can file a report with local Police (in your home country or wherever you lost it) saying that you have lost your Qatar Residence Permit card. The Police report along with photocopy of the Residence Permit card may be enough to convince the airline / immigration authorities while boarding.

However, please note that this is only a possible alternative and may not be allowed in some airports. The best option will be to check with your airline in advance.

NOTE : If the resident has exceeded six months stay outside the country, he will be required to get a return visa processed by his employer/sponsor to enter the country and the resident shall sign an undertaking not to repeat it (See Solution 2).

Solution 2 : Return Visa processed by employer / sponsor

In case of losing the Residence Card, the safest option will be to get a Return Visa processed by your employer / sponsor. Even though it is a costly affair, this will guarantee that you will not face any hassle during travel.

Return Visa or Re-entry Permit is a temporary document that has 14/30 days validity. The sponsored person has to return to Qatar within the validity period. Return visa can be issued even in cases where the person has stayed out for more than 6 months (provided that his Residence Visa is still valid).

Here is how your employer / sponsor can get the Return Visa :

1. For those on sponsorship of companies and establishments

This visa is granted for an expatriate on the sponsorship of an establishment, whose residence permit is still valid. The sponsor can apply through MoI Service Center.


2. For those on personal sponsorship of an expatriate resident (family members)

This visa is granted for family members of a resident whose residence permit is still valid.

The sponsor can apply online (Metrash 2) or through MoI Service Center. Here is the how to apply through MoI Service Center :


3. For those on personal sponsorship of a Qatari national

This visa is granted for house maids and others who are on the personal sponsorship of a Qatari national.

Here is the how to apply through MoI Service Center :


NOTE :  If you lose your passport and get a return visa / permit, your lost passport becomes invalid / blacklisted. You cannot use that passport in case you get it back.

Published on 15 February 2016