Doha Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update were on 21 February 2023.
What is Family Residence Visa in Qatar?
A Family Residence Visa is a visa using which a foreign worker can sponsor his immediate family members, like his wife and children, for a long-term stay in Qatar. Every family member, including infants, must have an individual Residence Visa to stay in Qatar.
To sponsor his family members, an expatriate resident has to meet some eligibility requirements like profession, salary, and accommodation.
Applicants must also submit several documents, including an attested marriage certificate, birth certificate, education certificate, and bank statements. This article explains the eligibility requirements, documents, visa fees, and step-by-step procedures to apply for Qatar Family Residence Visa.
- What is Family Residence Visa in Qatar?
- Qatar Family Residence Visa New Updates
- Qatar Family Visa Requirements
- Qatar Family Visa Process
- Step 1: Apply for Family Entry Visa online or directly
- Step 2: Family Members enter Qatar on Entry Visas
- Step 3: Undergo the Medical Test for Residence Visa
- Step 4: Undergo the Fingerprinting Process
- Step 5: Apply for Family Residence Permit Card
- Qatar Family Visa Fees
- Rules To Sponsor Adult Children
- Work Permit for Spouse and Children
- “Null” Status on Family Visa Application Receipt
- Visa Application Under Review and Under Process Status
- FAQ on Qatar Family Residence Visa
Qatar Family Residence Visa New Updates
21 FEBRUARY 2023 STATUS
As per the available information (based on the experience of other applicants):
(1) Family Residence Visa applications can be submitted online using the Metrash app. However, processing priority is given to public sector employees. Several public sector employees have recently received approvals. Private employees who visited MOI Centres in February were asked to come back in March.
(2) Family Visit Visa applications are being approved since January 2023. Applications can be submitted online using the Metrash app. There is no announcement on the time required for approval, but newer applications are getting approved within 1-2 weeks.
(3) MOI Centres are still not entertaining walk-in visitors (private sector employees) for follow-ups of Family Residence Visa.
Note that the above information is not based on any official announcement, but on the experience of recent applicants who visited MOI Centres. Individual experiences may vary depending on several factors.
Qatar Family Visa Requirements
Here are the major requirements for an expatriate to be eligible for sponsoring his family:
The Sponsor should have Residence Permit
The first requirement is that the applicant shall have a valid residence permit. Your Qatar ID / Residence Card should be ready before you apply for residence visas for your family.
The sponsor’s profession as the Qatar ID should be technical or specialised (non-labour). Those in the labour category like drivers, delivery boys, cleaners etc. may not be eligible to sponsor their families irrespective of their salary.
FEBRUARY 2023 STATUS: As per the information received from recent applicants, MOI is only approving applications from private employees with a minimum salary of QR 15,000 (since 2022). Recently some public sector employees have reportedly received approvals with salaries between QR 10,000 and QR 15,000.
Earlier, those with a minimum salary of QR 10,000 were eligible to sponsor their family. Those who have a minimum salary of QR 7,000 + free family accommodation were also eligible (if family accommodation is provided by the employer).
The salary requirements are in place to ensure that the sponsor can support his family’s expenses like accommodation and groceries.
If you have rented a house/apartment on your own, a tenancy contract attested by Municipality may be required. A tenancy contract is not being asked if you are applying through Metrash.
If your family accommodation is provided by the employer, you have to produce an employment contract that specifically mentions family housing will be provided in addition to your salary.
Qatar Family Visa Process
Before you begin the application process for Family Residence Visas, check with your employer to see if they can assist you in the process. Employers are not obliged to process or pay for Family Residence Visas, but some companies do take care of this process as part of their employment policy.
Qatar Family Visa and Residence Permit process can be summarised below:
Step 1. Apply for Family Entry Visa online or directly
Step 2. Family members enter Qatar on entry visas
Step 3. Undergo the Medical Test
Step 4. Undergo the Fingerprints Process
Step 5. Apply for Family Residence Permit Card
Let’s examine the above steps in detail:
Step 1: Apply for Family Entry Visa online or directly
The first step is that you should submit all necessary documents to get the family residence visa approved. This one-month visa will allow your family to enter Qatar. However, other formalities like medical tests and fingerprints must be done after arrival.
Another way is to bring the family on a Family Visit Visa which will have a simpler process. A visit visa can be converted to Family Residence Visa after submitting the same documents. You must pay an additional QR 500 if you change the visa without leaving the country.
Since employees working with private companies are required to submit six months’ bank statements, many people opt first to bring their families on a visit visa until the six months period is completed.
Documents Required for Qatar Family Visa Application
For applying through Metrash
When applying for a Family Residence Visa through Metrash, you will need the following documents:
- Passport of spouse + children (front + back pages)
- Marriage Certificate for spouse (Attested*)
- Birth Certificates for children (Attested*)
- Bank Statement for the last six months to prove your salary credit. Get this stamped from your bank.
- Your Education Certificate (Attested*)
- NOC (No-Objection Certificate) from the employer with position and salary (dated within the last 3 months) – This should be uploaded on the “Other Document” placeholder.
*Documents that need attestation should be attested from the Qatar embassy in your country OR your country’s embassy in Qatar, as well as Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Many private attestation companies in Qatar can assist with attestation and translation work.
If documents like Marriage Certificates, Birth Certificates or Education certificates are not in English or Arabic, you will have to get them translated. Translations should be uploaded to the “Other document” section on Metrash.
If there is more than one page in one document, you have to merge both pages into one JPG file as Metrash only allows JPG files. You can keep both pages together and take one photo (but the text should be readable). For better clarity, you can scan two pages and place them side to side using any software.
For applying through MOI Service Center
When applying for a Family Residence Visa directly through MOI Service Center, you may also need the following documents (in addition to the above):
- A completed application form (link) – You can get this typed in Arabic from any typing centre.
- Copy of your Passport (photo page + bio page)
- Copy of your Qatar ID card (both sides)
- Copy of your Employer’s QID / Company Registration Card (May not be required for the public sector).
- Copy of the Tenancy Contract attested by the Municipality or a letter from your employer stating that family accommodation will be provided. Tenancy Contract is not required for Metrash application but it may be asked if applying directly (in some cases).
Declaration of non-marriage for daughter is required in case the daughter you are sponsoring is above 18 years and not married. Note that married daughters are not eligible for parents’ sponsorship.
If you have adopted children, statements of adoption and reasons for adoption will be required. Legal documents proving relationship will be needed if you are sponsoring step-children.
Option 1: Applying for Family Residence Visa through Metrash
Recently Qatar has made the application process easier by allowing applicants to submit their documents via the Metrash2 mobile app. If you haven’t registered for Metrash2, see our comprehensive Metrash2 User Guide.
Here are the steps to follow to apply for Family Residence Visa on the Metrash2 mobile app:
- After logging into Metrash, Click on the “Visa” icon.
2. Click on the “Issue Visa” icon on the next screen.
3. Click on the “Family Visit” icon on the next screen.
4. Select the “Family Resident Application” on the next screen.
IMPORTANT NOTE: By default, this will be selected as Family Visa Application (which is for Family Visit Visa applicants). For Residence Visa, you have to change this selection to be as shown below:
5. Click on “New Application” (bottom right of the screen).
6. Carefully fill up the form with details of your family member. Click on “Validate”.
7. Verify the details on the next screen. Select “I agree on the validity of data”. Click “Next”.
If there is any mistake you can click “Back” and edit that. Make sure to review the data before confirming as any mistake in the application can prevent the visitor from entering the country.
8. Next screen will have placeholders for uploading the documents. Follow the instructions on the screen, and upload scanned copies or photos of the documents.
- The document scans/photos must be clear and readable.
- Metrash only accepts JPG images. PDF files are not accepted.
- For documents with multiple pages, combine both pages into one JPG file (side to side).
- For the bank statement, inform your bank that it is for the RP application so that they will print one or two pages with minimal details.
The documents required on the first screen are Education Certificate, Bank Salary Statement, and Other Documents. Upload NOC and translations (if any) on “Other Document”.
The documents required on the second screen are a Marriage / Birth Certificate and the Visitor’s Passport (front and back). After uploading all documents, click “Next”.
9. On the next screen, confirm your submission by clicking on “Yes”.
10. Your application number will be generated after this step. You can click on the arrow sign on the right to check the status. Once submitted it will be “Under Process”. Later it will change to “Under Review”.
If the application is rejected, the reason will be given as notes on this page.
If the visa is approved, you can pay the visa fees (QR 200) online via Metrash2 or pay at the Immigration Office. The visa can be downloaded at this link.
Option 2: Applying for Family Residence Visa Directly
For the offline application, you would need a completed application form (Download Form) and other documents mentioned above. You may also get this application form filled in from any typing centre.
Take the required documents to the Immigration Department in Al Gharafa (Location Map). It is better to go early morning, between 6 and 9 am.
Take a token number from the Reception, and wait for your turn. When your number is displayed on the screen, go to the counter and submit the documents. If the documents are satisfactory, they will accept the application, and you will be notified in a few days.
If the visa is approved, you can pay the visa fees (QR 200) online via Metrash2 or pay at the Immigration Office. Note that you would need a Debit or Credit card for payment.
What to do if the family visa application is rejected
Sometimes the visa application can be rejected even if you meet the requirements. In such cases, you can visit the Gharaffa Immigration Office and request a meeting with the visa approval committee.
Take a copy of the visa application receipt as they will keep the original receipt with them and give the copy on which they will mention the meeting date.
If there is no serious problem with your submitted documents after their scrutiny, you will be given an appointment date with the visa approval committee.
On the meeting date, the committee will ask simple questions like your qualifications and profession. Take the originals of all the documents you submitted, including your education certificates, in case they ask for it. If everything is OK, you will get the approval in two days.
Step 2: Family Members enter Qatar on Entry Visas
Once the Family Entry Visa is approved, the family members can travel to Qatar. Usually, the visa holder can enter within 90 days of visa approval. The last date of entry will be given on the visa.
The entry visa is valid for 30 days from the entry date, within which the next steps, like medical tests and fingerprints, should be done.
If the family members are already in Qatar on a visit visa, you can proceed to the next steps after approval.
Step 3: Undergo the Medical Test for Residence Visa
The Visa holder shall start the Residence Permit (RP) procedures by completing the medical examination. This test aims to protect the population’s health and prevent the spread of infectious diseases from newcomers.
The Medical Commission is responsible for conducting the health exam in Qatar. The Medical Commission Department is located on Al Muntazah Street, off the E-Ring Road (Location Map). The Medical Commission’s working hours are Sunday to Thursday, 07:00 am to 07:00 pm.
The medical examination may include a Blood Test, Chest X-Ray, and Screening for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
The following documents are generally needed for the medical test:
- Original passport
- Two clear copies of the residence visa with the mobile number to be contacted, if necessary
- Debit/Credit card for payment of fees
The fee for Medical Test is QR 100 per person. Children do not have to go for a medical test. However, you must take their passport and visa copy to Medical Commission and pay QR 100 to mark them as fit in the system. Here is our detailed guide about Medical Tests in Qatar.
If you are converting a visit visa to a residence visa, you must inform the officer about converting the visit visa into a residence visa.
The medical examination results are sent electronically to the residency system at the Ministry of Interior. You will receive the result on your Metrash mobile app two or three days after Medical Test. You can also check the result online on the MoPH website.
Step 4: Undergo the Fingerprinting Process
After completing the medical test, adults are required to register their fingerprints digitally with the Ministry of Interior.
For Residence Permit, you should obtain a blood-type (blood group) certificate from any local clinic. This costs around QR 30 to 50.
The Criminal Evidence and Information Department (CEID) collects all Qatar residents’ fingerprints. The CEID Headquarters is located just after the Industrial Area flyover on Salwa Road (Location Map).
The following documents are generally needed for the fingerprint process:
- Sponsor’s passport & QID copy
- Applicant’s original passport and copy
- Blood group report
- 2 x passport-size pictures on blue background
In addition to the above, you must fill out a fingerprint application form available at the CIED. If you are provided with a receipt after your fingerprint, you must keep it for future reference.
Once the fingerprint process is complete, you will receive an update on the Metrash2 app.
Step 5: Apply for Family Residence Permit Card
The final step is to apply for a Residence Permit Card (Qatar ID). You have to go to any Ministry of Interior Service Centre with your Qatar ID, the Passport of the family members, and passport-size photos (35 x 45 mm with a blue background).
The Residence Permit costs QR 500 for the first year. After payment of the fees, they will advise you when the cards will be ready for collection.
Qatar Family Visa Fees
|Qatar Family Visa Fee (per dependent)||QR 200|
|Medical Commission Test Fee (per dependent)||QR 100|
|Residence Permit Fee (for one year)||QR 500|
In addition, there may be charges for Documents Attestation, Blood Group reports etc. There will be an additional charge (QR 500) if you transfer a visit visa to a residence visa without exiting the country.
Rules To Sponsor Adult Children
One of the things to be aware of when applying for visas is that male children aged 25 years and over are not eligible to be on either parent’s visa. There is no age restriction for daughters, as long as they are not married.
Children with existing QID exceeding the legal age may be granted a Residence Permit under their parents for one more year to find an employer the following year.
Work Permit for Spouse and Children
Dependent spouses and children above 18 who wish to work require a special work permit to work while in family sponsorship. This work permit can also be applied using the Metrash app.
“Null” Status on Family Visa Application Receipt
Some of our readers have raised concerns that the acknowledgement receipt they received after application submission has only “null” on most fields. Please note that this is normal for all applicants. This document is only an acknowledgement that they have received your application. Your application details will be in the system.
Visa Application Under Review and Under Process Status
Applicants often get confused about changes to their family visa application status. It is normal that each application goes through “Under Process” and “Under Review” statuses multiple times before getting approved.
If your application status changes between these two, you do not have to do anything. In most cases, the application will be approved within few days of a change in status.
READ NEXT: How To Get Qatar Driving License
FAQ on Qatar Family Residence Visa
How much is the minimum salary to sponsor my family in Qatar?
As of 2023, you should have a minimum salary of QR 15,000 to be eligible for sponsoring your family in Qatar.
What to do if my family visa application is rejected?
If the family visa application is rejected, you can visit Gharafa Immigration Office and request a meeting with the visa approval committee.
How can I renew the Residence Permit for my family?
You can renew the Residence Permit (QID) for family members using the Metrash2 application. The payment can be made online, and delivery will be by QPost.
Can I get a residence visa for extended family members?
In Qatar, family residence visas are generally issued only for immediate family members like spouses and children. Parents can be sponsored in exceptional cases.
How much does the family visa cost in Qatar?
The cost of an initial entry visa is QR 200. However, there are other expenses like Medical Test fees, Residence Card fees and miscellaneous expenses like attestation charges.
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