Good news for those who are missing their families in Qatar, families of sponsored residents in the country are now able to visit their loved one for a short period of time.
The Family Visit Visa allows relatives to enter the country for a valid duration of one month extendable to a maximum of six months, five months extension for immediate family and two months for second degree relatives.
Dependents (mostly spouses and children but could also be second degree relatives) of sponsors or expatriates (provided they are already in Qatar and have a residence permit before sponsoring their dependents) are granted the Family Visit Visa.
When a male dependent spouse is sponsored, the male spouse is required to prepare either a multiple exit visa or a single exit visa to travel while a female dependent spouse are not required multiple exit visas. Dependents with family residence permits are also allowed to work, usually under the sponsorship of their spouse or by transferring the sponsorship to their employer.
Passports and Expatriates Division of the Interior Ministry in Qatar also mandates that sponsors must have a minimum salary of QR 10 000 before sponsoring their family. Applicants for sponsorship must also have a Qatari ID first before applying a family visa. The age restriction for males is 25 years of age while there is no age restriction for women as long as they are unmarried.
To be able to extend their visit, relative must first undergo physical examination within the first three days of arrival to apply for visit extension.
In order to apply for the Family Visit Visa, applicants must submit to the Passports Department a printed form duly accomplished by the sponsor, which can be downloaded at www.gov.qaand, along with supporting documents and the appropriate fee.
Included in the supporting documents is an approval letter from work citing sponsor’s profession and salary, copies of residence permits of sponsor, bank statements for at least six months, copy of birth certificate, marriage certificate and certificates of educational attainment, passport photos of sponsor and dependents and proof of address of principal family member (utility bills may be used). Application form must also have an Arabic version.
If applicant is for other relative, include documents supporting relationship. The application procedure may take up to six weeks for completion. All family residence visas need to be renewed prior to expiration.
Spouse and other relatives must undergo a medical test within 72 hours of entering the country in case you’re willing to extend for more than a month.
Each visa application is required to pay QR 200 and each registered dependent or companion must pay QR 50. Each month extension has a fee of QR 200 and each dependent companion must pay QR 50 per month.
A special panel at the Ministry will scan and probe for false information and fake documents in every family visa application from expatriate employees. The decision to accept or reject the application may come within one day to an average of one week. If rejected, you may appeal your application to the immigration head and explain to him your case. The status of the visa application can be viewed online under visa approval tracking and can be printed out under visa enquiry.
When using your visa, take a copy to the Qatar airways office and book your ticket, do not forget to ask the ticketing agent to note ‘OK to board’ on the ticket PNR so that staff in the Philippines would know that the original visa will be stamped on arrival.
Once dependent is in Qatar, the immigration staff will stamp one month visa on his passport. To extend the visit, he can get his physical examination done at medical commission or Ahli hospital, Doha clinic or Emadi Hospital even without appointment, just present passport and credit/debit card for the payment. After clearing the medical, dependent can now go to any immigration office to extend the visa, then you may rebook the return ticket.
A reconciliation amount of QR200 per day is imposed on a visitor who overstays a visit visa and QR30 per day for not completing resident procedure within 7 working days from the date of entry. For family visit for relatives, wife should be residing in Qatar or with rental housing or employed. A person may not apply for a visit visa for the same visitor before allowing six months from the date of the previous rejection.