Family visas in Qatar
Applying for a Family Visit Visa or Family Visa in Qatar
For international employees looking to bring their family over to Qatar, there are two family visa options to choose from. For short term stays, there is the family visit visa, and for more permanent stays, there is the family visa.
So, what are the main differences between these two visas?
Family Visit Visa
As the name suggests, this visa is best for family members looking to visit Qatar over a shorter period of time. This single entry visa is initially valid for one month, starting from the date of entry into Qatar.
However, for those who want to stay in Qatar longer, this visa can be extended up to a maximum of six months for immediate family members. Other relatives can stay in Qatar up to a total of three months.
For family members who are looking to extend their visa past the initial one month period, a medical examination must be undertaken within the first month of their stay, before the date of expiry listed on their visa.
After the medical report has been issued, visa holders can choose how many months they want to extend their visa, up to a total of six months.
Where to get this medical examination? For family members looking to extend their family visit visa, the medical examination must take place at the Medical Commission.
Children under seven don’t have to undergo a medical examination, but a fee of QAR100 must be paid at the Medical Commission in order to extend their visa.
It’s worth bearing in mind that this is a single entry visa. That means it is only valid for a single entry into Qatar. If the visa holder chooses to leave Qatar, their family visa will no longer be valid, and a new visa application must be made.
Applying for a Family Visit Visa
To apply for a family visit visa, the following documentation is required:
- Completed application form,
- Copy of applicant’s Qatar ID and passport, and passport of family members included on visa,
- Letter from applicant’s employer stating their position and salary,
- Copies of marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates,
- Copy of rental lease,
- At least eight passport photos of each family member included on visa.
This application can be submitted at the Ministry of Interior’s main immigration office.
International workers who are staying in Qatar on what is sometimes referred to as a company sponsored visa or a company sponsorship visa, may apply for their residence permit to remain in Qatar over the long term.
For those workers, a more permanent visa is required to allow their family to stay with them in Qatar. This is where the family visa comes in. A family visa allows international workers who have their residence permit to sponsor family members to come to Qatar to live.
On a family visa, family members can stay in Qatar long term, holding their own residence permit. To apply for this, family members must undergo a medical examination and have their fingerprints recorded.
It’s worth noting that male children aged 25 and over are not eligible for this type of visa. There is no age restriction for unmarried daughters.
Spouses who want to work in Qatar require a work permit, which is issued by the Ministry of Labor’s Employment Department. Read more about work permits for women in this helpful blog post.
Applying for a Family Visa
To sponsor family members, international workers must first have their residence permit and Qatar ID. They must also earn at least QAR10,000 per month.
To apply, there is a number of documents required. They include:
- A completed application form,
- A letter from the applicant’s employer, stating their position in the company and their monthly salary,
- Bank statements dating back six months,
- Copies of all family members’ passports,
- Statements of adoption for adopted children, as well as reasons for the adoption (original or notarised copy attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in applicant’s home country, attested by Qatar Embassy in applicant’s home country, then by MOFA in Qatar),
- Applicant’s marriage certificate (original or notarised copy attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in applicant’s home country, attested by Qatar Embassy in applicant’s home country, then by MOFA in Qatar),
- Children’s birth certificates (original or notarised copy attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in applicant’s home country, attested by Qatar Embassy in applicant’s home country, then by MOFA in Qatar),
- Copy of applicant’s electricity bill to show proof of address,
- Original Lease Agreement (attested by Municipality).
Applicants should ensure the application is completed in Arabic (this can be done at a translation centre). Applicants should also ensure they bring the original documents as well as the copies.
For anyone who is new to Qatar, six months’ worth of bank statements may not be available. It is still possible to apply for the family residence visa without these statements.
However, an easier solution is to apply first for a family visit visa while six months of bank statements are collected. Following that, the family visa application can be processed.
Working as a trusted local business partner in Qatar, Fusion Middle East provides essential services for international employees, such as the end-to-end application of family visit visas and family visas.
Taking the hassle out of visa application procedures, Fusion Middle East ensures all visa applications are done by the book, with minimal stress required.