In a rare and unprecedented move, Qatari authorities have announced that they will start issuing permanent residency to eligible non-Qataris.
Qatar has become the first country in the Arab Gulf to issue permanent residency permits to non-nationals and grant ID carriers the right to governmental services enjoyed by nationals, QNA reports.
Under the new law, Qatar ID cardholders will have the access to some of the services the welfare state provides to its natural citizens, mainly in education and healthcare, as well as the right to own property and operate certain commercial enterprises without the need of a Qatari stakeholder.
The law would also give them priority of employment, after locals, for positions within the country’s military, civil service and public sector.
Those who are able to apply for permanent status include children of Qatari women who are married to non-Qatari men, persons who have been deemed of notable service to the country, as well as individuals who possess certain skills and talents needed by the state.
Tens of thousands of expatriates living and working in the country are expected to benefit from this new law.
Applications for permits will be processed by the Permanent Residency ID Granting Committee, a permanent body that will be established within the Ministry of Interior to review and either deny or approve requests.
However, foreigners will still not be able to apply for a Qatari citizenship under any condition.