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Family Visa vs Visit Visa; What is the difference in Qatar

Updated: Aug 24, 2019


When Cijo had started working in Qatar, he had only one thought in his mind. He needed his wife and baby to be with him in the country. He was assured that the process of bringing his family to Qatar would be easy; provided he had all the required documentation. He knew that though such promises were doled out easily there would be hiccups along the way. First was the red tape he needed to get around to understand what his options were. Cijo was very fortunate; his company had hired BBMS to undertake all PRO services on their behalf and they were very efficient in ensuring that the proper information was given to the client. The information that BBMS provided showed two paths that he needed to take. He was faced with a choice to make; wait till all his paperwork would be completed to bring his family on a family residence visa; or bring them ahead on a visit visa and then later make the change to residence permit for the family once his papers were all ready. Family residence visa is definitely the ultimate solutions and is what most look forward to when bringing their families to Qatar for a long term. In this case, Cijo had to produce the following documents for residence permit visa:

  1. Valid QID of the sponsor (in this case, Cijo)

  2. Must have a higher profession Visa which permits issue of RP for dependents.

  3. Copy of the Attested work Visa.

  4. Attested work contract of the sponsor to ensure he meets Salary regulation as per MOI. This is currently “Qrs. 10,000”. In other words, Cijo has to show that he earns enough to support his family once they are in the country.

  5. Attested copies of marriage certificate in the case of bringing wife and birth certificates of minors.

  6. Attested copy of the educational Certificates (minimum bachelor’s degree)

  7. Attested copy of a rental contract by Municipality/Baladiya

  8. Salary statement for the previous six months

  9. NOC from company with the required stipulation as per Ministry of Interior (MOI) format.

  10. Electricity Bills/Receipts

Once these papers were in place, he could apply for the family residence visa that he needed to ensure that his family could come into the country to reside with him permanently. Once the family entered the country, they would need to ensure that they:

  1. Undertake the medical examination as required by the government

  2. Undertake fingerprinting for issue of ID.

Children below 18 years of age are exempted from this process. Since Cijo wanted to have his wife and child with him immediately, he chose to bring his family on a family visit visa initially.

The family visit visa is a temporary visa that would allow Cijo’s wife and child to enter Qatar on a visa that is valid for a duration of one month. This is extendable for a total of six months post this duration. The simplicity of this visa is that there is no need for getting fingerprints registered or any such formalities associated with getting a residence permit issued in Qatar. Cijo needed to produce:

  1. Valid QID of the sponsor (in this case, Cijo)

  2. Must have a profession on his Visa which permits issue of Visit visa as per Ministry of Interior (MOI) format.

  3. Copy of the Attested work Visa.

  4. Attested work contract of the sponsor to ensure he meets Salary regulation as per MOI. This is currently “Qrs. 5,000”. In other words, Cijo has to show that he earns enough to support his family once they are in the country.

  5. Attested copies of marriage certificate in the case of bringing wife and birth certificates of minors.

  6. Attested copy of a rental contract by Municipality/Baladiya

Since this is considered a temporary visa, family members are not eligible for free health care from Hamad Medical Corporation, excluding emergency situations. This is because you would need a QID (Qatar Identity Card) to get issued a Hamad Health Card, which is needed for you to access the Hamad Hospital network at subsidised rates.

As Cijo could not leave to bring his wife and child, he asked his father-in-law to travel down to drop them in Qatar. This was a little confusing for him because he was unsure if he needed to get a family visit visa or not. Upon further investigation from BBMS, Cijo was informed that his father-in-law could enter the country on a visa on arrival waiver and return if his stay was less than 30 days. Read here With the assistance of BBMS, Cijo was able to bring his family and have them with him as he started his stint in the State of Qatar. If you have any requirement with company formation or PRO services for your company, feel free to reach out to +974 40 120 333 or email BBMS at info@bbms.qa


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