Doha Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update was on 1 October 2023.
What is Family Residence Visa in Qatar?
A Family Residence Visa is a visa that allows a foreign worker to sponsor his immediate family members, such as 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 must meet eligibility requirements such as profession, salary, and accommodation.
Applicants must also submit several documents, including an attested marriage certificate, children’s birth certificate, education certificate, and bank statements. This article explains eligibility requirements, required documents, visa fees, and step-by-step procedures to apply for a Qatar Family Residence Visa.
- What is Family Residence Visa in Qatar?
- Qatar Residence Family Visa Latest News And Updates
- Qatar Family Visa Requirements
- Qatar Family Visa Process
- Step 1: Apply for Family RP Entry Visa
- Step 2: Family Members enter Qatar
- Step 3: Undergo the Medical Test
- Step 4: Undergo the Fingerprints Process
- Step 5: Apply for a Qatar ID Card
- Qatar Family Visa Fees
- Registering For National Address
- Rules For Sponsoring Adult Children
- Work Permit for Spouse and Children
- FAQ on Qatar Family Residence Visa
Qatar Residence Family Visa Latest News And Updates
01 October 2023 Family RP Status
The hold on Family RP for children seems to be removed now. Many children received approvals in the last week of September.
The new Immigration office at Al Duhail is NOT allowing follow-up visits regarding Family RP applications. Those who visited in the last weeks of September were asked to come back in October.
Family RP applications can be submitted online using the Metrash app.
Below are the updates based on available information derived from the experiences of other applicants. Please note that the information provided is not based on any official announcement. Individual outcomes may vary depending on various factors:
Aug 2023 Update: No Bank Statement And Education Certificate
Salary credit is now verified through your employer’s Wage Protection System (WPS) transfer. Before applying for a Family RP, please confirm with your employer that your salary is credited through WPS.
Education is now verified through the labor contract. You can check the status of your labor contract on Employment Contract page on Ministry of Labour website. If you cannot find your contract, please contact your employer’s PRO to update it before proceeding with the application.
Applicants whose WPS and labor contract were not in order received a “missing documents” status, while some applications were cancelled
Sep 2023 Update: Family Visit Visa Applications
For spouses and children, visit visa extensions of up to 6 months are allowed. Applications can be submitted online using the Metrash app.
Qatar Family Visa Requirements
Here are the major requirements for an expatriate to sponsor his family:
1) Residence Permit
The first requirement is that the applicant (the sponsor) must have a valid Residence Permit. Your Qatar ID / Residence Card should be ready before you apply for a residence visa for your family.
2) Profession Requirement
The sponsor’s profession on the Qatar ID should be technical or specialised (non-labour). Those in the labour category, such as drivers, delivery boys, cleaners, etc., may not be eligible to sponsor their families irrespective of their salary.
3) Minimum Salary For Family Visa in Qatar
Currently, the minimum salary (official requirement) for a Family Residence Visa in Qatar is QR 10,000 for private sector employees. Those with a minimum salary of QR 7,000 + free family accommodation are also eligible (if family accommodation is provided by the employer).
Until July 2023, approvals were given only to those with a minimum salary of QR 15,000. This requirement seems to have relaxed in August 2023.
The salary requirements are in place to ensure that the sponsor can support his family’s expenses, including accommodation and groceries.
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. Employers are not obliged to process or pay for Family Residence Visas, but some companies handle this process as part of their employment policy.
The Qatar Family Residence Visa process can be summarised as follows:
- Step 1: Apply for a Family RP Entry Visa (through Metrash or offline)
- Step 2: Family members enter Qatar
- Step 3: Undergo Medical Test
- Step 4: Undergo Fingerprints Process
- Step 5: Apply for Qatar ID
Let’s examine the above steps in detail:
Step 1: Apply for Family RP Entry Visa
The first step is to submit all the necessary documents to obtain approval for a family residence visa, allowing your family to enter Qatar. However, please note that other formalities such as medical tests and fingerprinting must be completed after their arrival.
Alternatively, you can bring your family on a Family Visit Visa, which involves a simpler process.
A visit visa can be converted into a Family Residence Visa after submitting the same documents. To change your visa type without leaving the country, you will need to pay an additional QR 500.
Here is our comprehensive guide on how to convert a Family Visit Visa to Family RP visa.
Documents Required for Qatar Family Visa Application
When applying for a Family Residence Visa through Metrash, you will need the following documents:
- Passports of spouse and children (front and back pages).
- Marriage Certificate for spouse (Attested*).
- Birth Certificates for children (Attested*).
- NOC (No-Objection Certificate) in Arabic from the employer with position and salary (dated within the last 3 months). Please upload this document to the “Other Documents” placeholder.
Declaration of non-marriage for daughter is required if she is above 18 years of age and unmarried. Please note that married daughters are not eligible for sponsorship under their parents.
If you have adopted children, you will need to provide statements of adoption along with the reasons for adoption. For step-children, you will need legal documents to prove the relationship.
Attestation and Translation of Documents
*Documents that require attestation should be attested by the Qatar Embassy in your country OR your country’s Embassy in Qatar. You should also get it attested from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Doha.
If documents such as Marriage Certificates or Birth Certificates are not in English or Arabic, you will need to have them translated. Translations should be uploaded to the “Other documents” section of Metrash.
There are many attestation service providers & typing centers in Qatar, who can help you with translation and attestation.
Important Information About Documents
- 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). You can achieve this by keeping both pages together side-by-side and taking a single photo. Ensure that the text is clear and legible. For improved clarity, you can use any software to scan two pages and place them side-by-side before saving as a JPG file. Here is a helpful online tool for merging documents.
- The maximum size of the merged JPG document should be less than 500 KB. Any document with a size above 500 KB will not be uploaded and you need to resize it.
- 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.
How To Apply Family Residence Visa through Metrash
Qatar MOI has simplified the application process by enabling applicants to submit their documents through the Metrash2 mobile app. If you haven’t registered for Metrash2 yet, please refer to our comprehensive Metrash2 User Guide.
For the family visa option to be active, the applicant’s labor contract should be uploaded online and linked to the Metrash system. In most cases, this will have already been done by the employer. If you receive a notification on Metrash, please contact your employer to resolve this matter.
Here are the steps 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 “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 Visas, you have to change this selection as shown below:
5. Click on “New Application” (bottom right of the screen).
6. Carefully fill in the form with the 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 it. Make sure to review the data before confirming, as any mistake in the application can prevent the visitor from entering the country.
8. The next screen will have placeholders for uploading documents. Follow the instructions on the screen, and upload scanned copies or photos of the documents.
The documents required are a Marriage / Birth Certificate, NOC, and the Visitor’s Passport (front and back).
- For the spouse, upload the front page of the marriage certificate in the “Marriage Certificate” box.
- In the “Marriage Certificate Others” box, you can upload the attested page, usually the back page. If the file is a single page, then upload the same file in both boxes.
- In “Other Documents”, upload your company NOC in Arabic, with salary and profession matching the labor contract.
- On the next page, “Visitor Documents”, upload the visitor’s passport.
- For children, you need to upload MOFA attested birth certificate. If the child is born in Qatar, attestation is not required.
After uploading all the 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 from this link.
“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” in most fields. Please note that this is normal for all applicants. This document is only an acknowledgement that they received your application. Your application details will be in the system.
How To Check Qatar Family Visa Status
You can check the status of your Qatar Family Residence Visa application on the Metrash mobile app. From the home screen, click on “Visa,” and then select “Visa Follow Up.” Now, you can see all your applications. Click on the arrow icon on the right to check the status of your application.
Family Visa Application Status (Under Process & Under Review)
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.
Below is a typical flow of status for visa applications and what each stage means:
|Stage||Metrash Status||What This Means|
|1st stage||Under Process||Application is submitted.|
|2nd stage||Under Review||The file is currently under review by a junior officer. This stage may take several days or even weeks. |
If the sponsor fails to meet eligibility conditions, the application may be rejected. If any document is missing or doesn’t meet the requirements, the sponsor will receive a notification. Once eligibility is confirmed, and the documents are in order, the file will proceed to the next stage
|3rd stage||Under Process||The file is with a senior officer (usually the Captain) for final approval. Rejection at this stage is very rare.|
|4th stage||Under Process with visa number issued||The file is approved from Duhail Immigration. Now the file is under CID clearance. Usually, it would be approved within one week. Visiting Duhail will not help.|
For children below 15 years, CID clearance is not required. The status will be “Ready To Print”. However, the visa can be only printed after the mother’s application is approved.
|5th stage||Visa Approval / Ready To Print||After CID clearance, the sponsor will get approval SMS. Now the visa is fully approved. You can pay QR 200 and print the visa.|
- Under Review to Under Process means almost approved.
- Under Review to Under Process can be done only by the Captain (senior officer) at Duhail Immigration. Even if your application is in Stage 1, the Captain has the authority to move it directly to Stage 4.
- For children below 15 years, it will be direct approval, after the 3rd stage (as they don’t need CID clearance). However, the visa can be only printed after the mother’s application is approved.
- If your application status changes between Under Process and Under Review, you do not have to do anything. In most cases, the application will be approved within a few days of a change in status.
- The status we see on our Metrash and the status on their system may vary.
Time Required For Family RP Approval
Unfortunately, there is no exact timeframe for the process. It varies from person to person; some may have their changes processed in several days or weeks, while for others, it may take months.
The only consistent timeframe we have seen is that if it’s in the 4th stage (Under Process with a visa number), then CID clearance is usually completed within a week for full approval.
Keep checking your Metrash for updates and if you don’t see much movement in your file even after several weeks, you can consider visiting the Duhail Immigration office. However we do not suggest that you visit Immigration within 1-2 week of application.
Mistake In Family RP Visa: What To Do
Once you receive the approved entry visa, ensure that the visa contains accurate information such as the name, passport number, etc. For the wife, the profession should be mentioned as ‘Housewife,’ and for children, it should be mentioned as ‘Student/Child.’
If the information is incorrect, visit any MOI office and meet with a Captain, providing a printed RP visa and a copy of the passport. Corrections for individuals below 15 years of age will be made on the spot, while those above 15 will need to undergo CID clearance once again.
“Missing Documents” Error For Family RP
If anyone receives a “Missing Documents” SMS on Metrash, follow these steps:
- Open Metrash mobile app.
- Click on “Issue Visa”.
- Select “Family Visit”.
- Check the box for “Family Resident Application”.
- Click on “RP Application”
- Click on “Upload Documents”
- You will find a box indicating the required document. Upload that specific document only.
- If it shows “Other Document” normally it would be the Company NOC in Arabic.
- If you receive the “Missing Documents” notification multiple times for “Other Documents,” verify the accuracy of the content in the Company NOC with a typing centre. Make sure everything is correct and add any necessary information.
- Many individuals see the “X” error after submitting the missing documents.
- Try compressing images to a size under 100KB. You can use online tools for “Compress Image” or try using a different phone or an iPhone.
- Note: If the documents are successfully submitted, the Metrash status will usually change from “Missing Documents” to “Under Process”.
What to do if the family visa application is rejected?
Sometimes, your visa application can be rejected even if you meet the requirements. In such cases, you can visit the 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. They will give you a copy mentioning 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.
During the meeting, the committee will ask you simple questions such as your qualifications and profession. Take the originals of all documents you submitted, including your education certificates, in case they ask for them. If everything is OK, you will get approval in two days.
Step 2: Family Members enter Qatar
Once the Family Entry Visa is approved, family members can travel to Qatar.
Documents Required For Travel
The following are required when travelling to Qatar under Family RP (for the first time):
- One way flight ticket
- RP visa (Entry visa) copy
- Return flight ticket is not required when coming on Family RP visa.
- Health insurance is not required when coming on Family RP visa (as of Sep 2023).
Family Residence Visa Validity
Usually, visa holders can enter within 180 days of visa approval (note that in some recent cases, the validity was only 90 days, while some others got one year). The last entry date will be given on the visa. The validity is counted from the date the visa number is issued (not the date of printing the visa).
How To Renew Visa If Not Able To Travel
If you can’t travel within this period, there is an option to extend the entry visa by paying QR 200, which will further extend the validity by 180 days.
To renew the entry visa before entering Qatar:
- Open Metrash mobile app
- Go to “Visa Services”
- Select “Renew Visa”
- Click on “Personal”
- Select the visa and pay the visa fee (QR 200)
- The visa will be further extended for 180 days.
Note: This renewal has to be done before expiry of the entry visa.
Period To Complete RP Process After Entry
Once a person enters Qatar on a Family RP visa, medical examinations and fingerprinting should be completed within 90 days from the entry date, and the QID should be printed.
Note that the same duration applies to someone whose entry is converted by paying QR 500 (everyone requires conversion regardless of age) from a Family Visit Visa to a Family RP Visa. In other words, medical fees payment and fingerprinting must be completed within 90 days from the conversion date, and the QID should be printed.
Step 3: Undergo the Medical Test
The visa holder shall start the Residence Permit (RP) procedure by completing a medical examination. This test aims to protect population health and prevent infectious diseases spread by newcomers.
The Medical Commission is responsible for conducting visa-related medical exams in Qatar. The Medical Commission Department is located on Al Muntazah Street, off the E-Ring Road (Google map). The Medical Commission’s working hours are Sunday to Thursday, 07:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m.
The medical examination may include a blood test for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. You will also undergo a physician’s check-up and chest X-ray for screening for Tuberculosis,
The following documents are required for the medical test:
- Family member’s original passport
- Passport copy
- Residence Visa copy with sponsor’s mobile number written on it
- Sponsor’s Qatar ID copy
- Debit/Credit card for payment of fees
The fee for Medical Test is QR 100 per person.
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. If you have already done the medical for a visit visa extension, they may not do the test again.
The medical examination results are electronically sent to the residency system at the Ministry of Interior. You will receive the result on your Metrash mobile app or as an SMS two or three days after the medical test. You can also check the results online on the MoPH website.
Average time required for updating the medical results in the system is 3 days.
If you don’t receive any SMS within 3 days, you can call MOPH helpline 16000 or visit Medical Commission office.
Medical Tests For Children
Normally children under 15 years do not have to go for a medical test. When the child arrives in Qatar, check the sponsor’s Metrash app to see if the “Issue Residence Permit” option is available to them.
If the option is not showing, you have to pay QR 100 at the Medical Commission (show original passport and visa copy). They will update the status in the system.
Step 4: Undergo the Fingerprints Process
After completing the medical test, adults must register their fingerprints digitally with the Ministry of Interior. Fingerprinting is not required for children under 15 years.
Traditionally fingerprint was only possible at the CEID office on Salwa Road. Nowadays, you can also do fingerprints at most Ministry of Interior (MOI) Service Centres (except Gharaffa and Souq Waqif).
The following documents are required for the fingerprinting:
- Fingerprint Application Form. You can get this filled out from a typing centre*. (This may not be required at some MOI Service Centres)
- Family member’s original passport
- Passport copy
- Residence Visa copy
- Sponsor’s Qatar ID copy
- Medical Receipt
Once the fingerprint process is complete, you will receive an update on the Metrash2 app or SMS.
Average time required for updating the fingerprints results in the system is 3 days. If you don’t receive any SMS within 3 days, you may have to go back and check.
*You can also get the Qatar ID application form (needed in the next step) typed at the same time.
Step 5: Apply for a Qatar ID Card
The final step is to apply for a Residence Permit Card (Qatar ID). You can do this at the MOI Service Centre or online through Metrash.
Option 1: Applying for Qatar ID at MOI Service Centre
If you are applying for Qatar ID directly, you can apply at any Ministry of Interior (MOI) Service Centre.
The following documents are required to apply for Qatar ID at the MOI Service Centre:
- Completed application form (download link). You can get this filled up from a typing centre**.
Family member’s original passport
- Sponsor’s Qatar ID
- Family member’s passport-size photo (35 x 45 mm with a blue background)
MOI officials will ask the family members to sign on the form near the photo. For children, you can write their name instead of their signature.
**Some MOI Service Centres require applicants to bring the completed application form, while some MOI centres will give a paper to sign.
Qatar ID Fee
The Residence Permit costs QR 500 for the first year.
Once the fee is paid, the Qatar ID will be printed within 5 minutes.
Option 2: Applying for Qatar ID through Metrash
This option is required only if you do not want to visit the MOI Service Centre. Once you receive a message that the fingerprint is OK, follow the below steps:
- Open the Metrash2 app
- Go to the “Residency” section
- Select “Issue Residence Permit”
- Enter the required details
- Upload a passport-size photo (blue background)
- Take a picture of a family member’s signature and upload it. For children, write their names on a piece of paper and upload it as their signature.
- Pay QR 500 + QR 20 as a QPost delivery charge.
You can track your QID delivery on the MOI website. The sponsor’s QID number can be used for tracking.
Qatar Family Visa Fees
Below is a breakdown of all costs associated with a family residence visa:
|Qatar Family Visa Fee (per dependent)||QR 200|
|Medical Commission Test Fee (per dependent)||QR 100|
|Residence Permit Fee (for one year)||QR 500|
Document attestation and typing centre fees (if required) will be extra. There will be an additional charge of QR 500 per person if you transfer a visit visa to a residence visa without exiting the country.
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Registering For National Address
Once the QID is printed, ensure that the National Address is registered for the new QID holder. You can do this at any MOI service center or through the Metrash mobile app.
Children’s National Addresses can be registered using their sponsor’s Metrash app. For the wife to register on Metrash, she needs to obtain a SIM card with her own QID and then proceed to register a National Address.
Please note that a resident’s Qatar ID cannot be renewed without registering his/her National Address.
Rules For Sponsoring Adult Children
When applying for visas, it’s important to know 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 QIDs exceeding the legal age may be granted a Residence Permit under their parents’ sponsorship 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 under family sponsorship. This work permit can also be applied for using the Metrash app.
Here is a detailed video explaining the residence visa steps:
FAQ on Qatar Family Residence Visa
What is the minimum salary for family visa in Qatar?
As of September 2023, you should have a minimum salary of QR 10,000 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 the Duhail 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 to immediate family members like spouses and children. Parents can be sponsored in exceptional cases.
How much does a family visa cost in Qatar?
The cost of an initial entry visa is QR 200 and Qatar ID is QR 500 per year. There are other expenses like Medical Test fees (QR 100) and miscellaneous expenses like attestation charges.
What to do if the application is “Under Process” for a Family Visa in Qatar?
If the application status of your family visa is still “Under Process” after submission, there is nothing much to do except wait. Note that as of 2023, there is a delay in most applications.
What is the meaning of Family Visa “Under Review”?
If the family visa status is under review, it means the file is being processed by an officer. This is normally a good sign.
Is health insurance required for Family Residence Visa?
No, health insurance is not required for Family Residence Visa. It is only needed for visit visas.
- How To Apply Qatar ID For A Baby Born In Qatar
- How To Transfer Wife To Husband Sponsorship
- How Can A Mother Sponsor Children In Qatar
- How Can A Wife Sponsor Husband in Qatar
- Pregnancy And Baby Delivery in Qatar: Full Guide
- Medical Test For Family Residence Visa in Qatar
- Qatar Family Visit Visa: Requirements and Application Guide
- How To Get On Arrival Visa for Baby Born Outside Qatar
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Special thanks to Mr. Faris Ahmed & Mr. Siraj for sharing their knowledge and experience.