Qatari cabinet green-lights permanent-residency law


The Qatari cabinet has approved draft legislation that would allow non-Qataris to permanently reside in the country.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting held late Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

According to Qatar's official news agency, the law -- if enacted -- would allow foreign nationals "with peculiar qualifications needed by the state of Qatar" to reside in the country on a permanent basis.

Under the provisions of the draft, permanent-residence permits would only be granted with the express permission of the interior minister.

Permanent-residency status will grant permit holders a number of other privileges, including "treatment as Qatari citizens in terms of education and healthcare", the news agency reported.

It would also give them priority, after Qatari nationals, when applying for posts in military and public institutions.

What's more, permit holders would also have the right to own property and practice commercial activities in Qatar without any need for a Qatari partner.

The Interior Ministry is now reportedly in the process of setting up a special committee for processing permanent-residency permit requests.

Previously, foreign nationals resident in Qatar had to obtain renewable temporary-residence permits.

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