Qatar Backs Draft Law for Permanent Residencies
A new law which would allow non-Qataris to apply for permanent residence has moved forward another step. The changes were first mentioned last August, but have come closer to fruition this week as the Advisory Council approved the new legislation. Free healthcare, state education and other benefits would become available to those who decide to become permanent Qatari residents after the changes are formally introduced.
There are conditions which must be met in order to be granted citizenship on a permanent basis, all of which will be finalised and communicated as the implementation date draws closer. This will give a sense of relief to many residents who are currently required to renew their residence visas every few years. It will also ease the current law which requires foreign workers to receive their employers’ consent in order to change jobs or leave the country.
As well as free healthcare and state education, foreigners will gain the right to own property in Qatar without the current limitations. This will hopefully only serve to boost the number of expats who choose to settle in the country long-term if they feel fully integrated and have a sense of security about their place in the country. As almost 90% of the current population of Qatar consists of non-nationals, retaining it’s strong expat community will serve the country well for the future.
The Qatar cabinet and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani must now consider the proposed draft before it can be made official.
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