Updated January 2023
Following more than a year of stagnated travel, leaving thousands of residents stranded outside of their home countries, Qatari expats and citizens stuck abroad can breathe a sigh of relief as the Qatar government has instituted return permits for residents. Once they have satisfied the necessary entry requirements, applying for and receiving the permit is pretty straightforward.
The following is the breakdown of the return permits for residents outside of Qatar.
Please note: As per the latest announcement by the Qatari authorities, an exceptional entry permit is no longer required for residents with valid residency visas. Qatar residence visa holders who have spent more than 6 months outside of Qatar would need to obtain the exceptional entry permit as detailed below.
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Exceptional Entry Permit to Qatar
Residents who are currently in the State of Qatar and wish to travel and return will automatically receive an exceptional entry permit upon departure. The resident or their employer will be able to print out the exceptional entry permit from the website of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) at any point after the resident has departed Qatar. Such requests will no longer need to be submitted through the Qatar Portal.
The permit will be available automatically upon registration of the resident’s departure from Qatar.
How to get the automatic Exceptional Entry Permit?
- head towards the Ministry of Interior’s official website
- enter your QID number and residency expiry date
- enter the verification code, then click on submit
- select ‘Print Exceptional Return Permit’
- enter your QID number, your residency/QID expiry date and the verification code. Then click ‘Print’
- exceptional entry permit will automatically be generated for you to print
How much is the fee for Exceptional Entry Permit service?
You need not pay any fee to get the Exceptional Entry Permit.
How long is the Exceptional Entry Permit valid for?
The Exceptional Entry Permit to Qatar is valid for 30 days from its date of issue.
How to extend the validity of the Exceptional Entry Permit?
Holders of expired exceptional entry permits can extend the validity of their permits for a period of 30 days from the date of submitting the extension request. It is a condition that the previously approved permit be expired and that the owner of the permit must not be inside the country.
The permit can be extended by submitting an application on the Qatar portal here. You can track your application through the “My Applications” page at Qatar Portal. Alternatively, you may call the Government Contact Center on 109 inside Qatar or +974 44069999 outside the country.
Qatar return permit
The Qatar return permit enables residents who have lost and replaced their passports outside Qatar or exceeded the legal period of staying abroad (six months), to get a return permit to come back to the country.
Who needs to apply for a return permit?
The return permit is a temporary document which a validity period of only 14 or 30 days (validity will be mentioned on the permit) required by the following residents willing to return to Qatar.
- Qatari residents who have lost and replaced their passports outside Qatar during their stay out of the country or exceeded the legal period of staying abroad (six months)
- housemaids and those in their status who have stayed outside the country for more than six months
- family members of the expatriates who have stayed outside the country for more than six months
- residents on the sponsorship of their employers/companies who have stayed outside the country for more than six months
What are the required documents?
The documents required while applying for a return permit largely depend on the type of applicant.
- applicant’s Qatar ID (QID) number
- sponsor’s QID (if entering via sponsorship)
- establishment ID (if employed by a company)
Applying via sponsorship
In addition to individually requesting a return permit, the following categories of people can apply for their permits only with the help of a sponsor.
Qatari Personal Sponsorship for Residents
- this permit is given to the housemaids and those in their status who have stayed outside the country for more than six months
- the sponsor must submit the application
- attach a copy of the resident’s QID/passport
- submit a copy of the sponsor’s QID
Expatriate Personal Sponsorship for Residents
- this permit is issued for the family members of the expatriates who have stayed outside the country for more than six months, and their return permit is valid
- the sponsor must submit the application
- attach a passport copy of the sponsored person (resident) and the sponsoring person (expatriate) or his/her QID
Corporate Sponsorship for Residents
- this permit is issued for residents on the sponsorship of their employers/companies who have stayed outside the country for more than six months, and their return permit is still valid
- the employer must submit the application
- attach a passport copy of the sponsored persons (residents) and the establishment ID card
How to apply for a return permit?
There are two methods using which you can submit your application for a return permit:
- by submitting it online on the Ministry of Interior (MOI) website
- by visiting any Ministry of Interior Service Centre
If you would prefer to submit your request for the return permit online, please consult the following:
- log in with your smartcard to the e-services portal of the Ministry of Interior (MOI)
- select “Residence services” from the list, then click on “Issue Return Permit”
- enter the expatriate’s QID number
- enter return permit details and the reason for issuing it (Exceed 6 months, Lost passport, Damaged passport, Exceed and lost passport, Damaged / Lost ID card, Exceed Damaged/Lost ID card)
- enter the remarks, if applicable and the email address
- click on “Next” and pay the fees
Applying offline by visiting the Expatriates Affairs Department
Alternatively, head towards the Expatriates Affairs Department, which serves as the Ministry of Interior (MOI) Service Center.
- fill out and submit the official letter form by the sponsor or employer
- attach a copy of the Establishment ID if you’re employed by a company or QID if you’re on a personal sponsorship
- attach a copy of the resident’s old passport, along with an official lost passport certificate from the country of issuance
- pay appropriate fees
How much is the fee for a return permit?
The fee amount for a return permit depends on the purpose of re-entry and is listed as follows:
- overstaying abroad for more than six months: QR 500
- lost passport: QR 200
- damaged passport: QR 200
- exceed or Lost passport: QR 500
- damaged or lost residency card: QR 200
- exceed, damaged and lost residency card: QR 500
What to do if a request for an entry permit is rejected?
It is possible for the concerned authorities to reject the permit application if it does not meet the conditions and requirements for granting the permit. However, applicants who got their return permit requests rejected can re-apply again after fulfilling all the conditions that led to the rejection of the application.