Middle East Immigration updates - Qatar and Saudi Arabia

Qatar developments

The Ministry of Labour launches new e-services package

As part of Qatar's digital transformation initiative, the Ministry of Labour
(MoL) has launched a series of new e-services on their portal, allowing users
to access various services electronically. These services include:

  • Requesting new work permits for individuals in different categories,
    such as those who are already residing in Qatar under the sponsorship of their families, citizens of Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries, permanent residence permit holders, and investors
  • Renewing work permits as long as the individual's Qatar residence permit is valid for at least three months and all supporting documents are provided
  • Cancelling work permits
  • Applying for new labour recruitment approvals, allowing entities to hire foreign nationals
  • Renewing the validity of unused labour recruitment approvals
  • Amending labour recruitment approvals to modify the approved quota's job title and/or nationality.

For further information, please visit the Media Center News Details
on the MoL website.

Deloitte’s view

The new e-services package is a
great initiative from the Qatar MoL, as it will help them achieve their digital
strategy to transform the services offered to the public. By providing
streamlined and efficient processes, it eliminates the need for physical visits
to various Qatari authorities.


Saudi Arabia development

All GCC residents are now eligible for a Saudi Tourist Visa, regardless of their profession

The Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia recently expanded the eligibility criteria for Saudi e-Visas to include all residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, enabling them to visit Saudi Arabia for tourism or Umrah. Previously, only GCC residents with certain professions or nationals of particular countries were able to obtain an e-Visa through the online portal. However, now all GCC residents can apply, irrespective of their occupation.

To qualify for an e-Visa, the GCC resident must be at least 18 years old (if traveling with children under 18, the parents must apply first), possess a valid GCC residence permit for a minimum of three months, and meet other standard requirements. The family members and domestic workers of GCC residence visa holders can also benefit from this policy.

While in the Kingdom, visitors are required to comply with all regulations and instructions, such as carrying identification documents at all times. It is important to note that e-Visas do not permit the performance of Hajj, nor Umrah during the Hajj season.

Please click the following link for further details.

Deloitte’s view

As part of its efforts to promote tourism and cultural exchange, the Ministry has decided to lift restrictions on certain professions for residents of GCC countries. This decision will enable more people to visit the Kingdom's tourist destinations, participate in entertainment events, and delve into its rich cultural, historical and heritage offerings. Consequently, this move is expected to boost tourism from GCC countries and increase the number of visitors to the Kingdom.

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