[UPDATED : 26 February 2016]
In June 2015, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior announced that it will discontinue affixing Residence Permit sticker in expatriate passports. Instead of RP stickers, the new Residence Permit card will be used as travel document as well identity proof.
Considering that this would be new move affecting all expatriates in Qatar, NRICafe.com is trying to answer some of your possible questions, based on information provided by Ministry of Interior.
1. Will I still have RP sticker in my passport ?
No, the new residence card will replace residence permit stickers in the passports as well the existing ID card. The RP card will be the only document that proves the identity of the expatriate resident in Qatar as well his valid residence in Qatar.
2. When is this being implemented ?
The new system will be implemented starting Monday, 15 June 2015. It will be implemented gradually by issuing new residence cards for first time applicants and at the time of renewal of residence permit for existing residents.
3. My RP is still valid for few months. Should I apply for new Residence Cards now ?
No, you need not apply for new card as long as your RP is valid. You will get new RP card the next time you renew your RP.
4. Is the new Residence Card same as existing Qatar ID ? Is it more costly ?
The new card will be of similar type. The design would be slightly different. The fee would be same as Qatar ID.
5. Are these smart cards with electronic chip?
Applicants can choose either normal residence card or smart residence card. The smart residence card will offer the same services rendered by the present smart ID card as per the request.
6. My kids doesn’t have Qatar ID card as their RP is in passport. Do they need Residence Cards ?
For the first time, the kids get a residence card which also serves as an identity card for them. This obliges separation of children added in the passports of their parents. Your kids will get this during the next RP renewal.
7. How can I renew my RP and get Residence Card ?
All residence renewal application for govt, public and private company sponsorships will be accepted only electronically. For family and personal sponsorship, applications can be done online or physically at MOI services centers. Residence renewal can be applied through Metrash2, MOI website and e-government website and get the card at applicant’s address.
8. What documents are required for issuing new Residence Card ?
Original passport should be produced for the first time only and renewal will not require the passport or any other documents. For renewal of children’s RP, you have to submit latest photo also.
9. How long is this card valid ?
The card will be renewed for one or two or three years or five years for some categories as per request for the same fee as before.
10. What are the advantages of this change ?
The new card system will ease procedures, reduce rush at MOI centers and save passport pages of expats. The new card system will ideally help the ministry in its bid to become paperless, and to speed up the process of obtaining visas.
11. If there are no RP stickers in passport, how do I enter/exit the country ?
Qatar residents should show the Residence Card whenever they enter and exit the country.
12. Will I have any issue while travelling abroad ?
Qatar has informed all countries 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. Airlines can verify validity and details of passenger’s residence permit via Interior Ministry website.
13. How many days does it take to get RP renewed ?
Renewal of RP and printing of new cards can be done within few minutes. However delivery time by Q-Post is not same for all. Some residents have complained that they did not get it even after 2-3 weeks, while it took only 2-3 days for some residents.
14. I am travelling next week. How can I get my RP renewed urgently ?
If you are planning to travel within few days, it is advisable not to opt for Q-Post delivery. If it is for someone on personal (or family) sponsorship, the sponsor can directly go to any MoI service center and get the renewal done on same day. If it is for someone on company sponsorship, the PRO / sponsor can try to do it get it done directly from MoI service center (in urgent cases).
15. My employer renewed my RP online, but the Residence Card has not been delivered yet and I need to travel soon. What should I do ?
If the renewal is already done online and Q-Post delivery takes longer than usual, PRO / sponsor can check with Q-Post Main Office. Q-Post officials can check on the system and try to locate them.
16. How can I track the status of my RP renewal ?
- You can check RP renewal status on MoI website (Here is the link)
- You can check for the delivery status on Q-Post website (Here is the link).
If you have Metrash 2 installed on phone, you will get notifications.
17. I lost my Residence Card inside Qatar. What should I do?
Visit any MoI service center with these documents : A request letter from sponsor / company, Company computer card, Copy of lost card – in case you have, Passport copy & Original passport. You will be charged QR 210 (to be paid using debit/credit card). Your sponsor / PRO can also do this for you.
18. I lost my Residence Card while abroad. What should I do to return back?
There are different options to this. Please refer to this link on how to proceed.
If you have further questions, please fee free to ask through comments sections and we shall try our best to answer. Please avoid the questions already answered.