Qatar approves draft law granting permanent residency to some expatriates

The permanent residency card will grant them the same access to education and healthcare in government institutions as Qatari nationals.

Qatar has approved a draft law that would grant permanent residency to some foreigners, the Gulf Business reported on Thursday. Under the provisions of the draft law, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior will grant permanent residency status to expatriates if they are married to a Qatari, have “performed great services to the state” or have “special competencies”.

Children of Qatari women married to foreigners will also be eligible for the permanent residency, reported the official Qatar News Agency.

The permanent residency card will grant such individuals the same access to education and healthcare in government institutions as Qatari nationals. They will be given second preference after Qataris for military and public sector jobs, and have the right to own real estate.

The move comes after Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani instructed officials to take measures to bring in investments and reduce the kingdom’s reliance on energy. Qatar has been diplomatically isolatedby Saudi Arabia and three other Gulf countries for allegedly supporting militancy.