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Traffic and Immigration in Qatar

Among the major issues that expats face in Qatar are related to transportation and immigration policies.

Qatar is one of the countries that are highly dependent on foreign workers, despite the fact, the immigration law of the country has been complex until the New Immigration Law came into enactment in 2017. The new law gave a bit clarity about provisions of exit, entry, residence and citizenship.

Traffic is another issue that occupied Qatar’ greatly. As per the last Qatar Traffic Report commuters spent an average of 109 extra hours on roads due to traffic congestion in Qatar in 2016 as against 102 extra hours in 2015. The increasing traffic congestions were caused due to various reasons increase in number of automobiles, construction blockades, diversions, lack of infrastructure and so on. As Ashghal is moving ahead with it’s ‘sustainable infrastructure drive ‘the construction diversions may again prove to be a major issue.

In order to understand the performances of the existing immigration and traffic services, the Department of Planning and Quality in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has started a survey seeking opinion on the services provided by the General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs, the unified services department at the Mesaimeer Service Center, and the General Directorate of Traffic in Madinat Khalifa-South.

The objective of the survey is to gain feedback on the services provided by the government departments to the expats and is to run till Thursday. The survey teams are distributing questionnaires, which include questions about the procedures carried out by the Department of Expatriate Affairs, the Department of Standard Services, and the General Directorate of Traffic.

The questions will be focussed on reception of people, speed of completion of their transactions and the response to their inquiries by staff and officers. Moreover the question will also seeks opinion on the facilities provided by the departments, including the provision of suitable waiting places for visitors, car parking, and services for people with special needs.

As per Telecommunications Department Director Brig Abdul Rahman Majid al Sulaiti statement in Qatar Tribune “The MoI attaches great importance to such surveys as it has an effective role in supporting the decision-making process and identifying the efficiency of the services, its shortcomings and obstacles to the termination of transactions through the electronic systems provided by the MoI on its website and the service of Metrash2.”

The survey will focus on understanding user experience of people to develop the efficiency of services, the extent of their knowledge about the availability of services provided by the departments and at the same time is also an effort to motivate them to complete their transactions online.

Though this is an initiative to take feedback from the people for improving the existing services online and offline, it will only be effective if considerable number of people participate in the survey and their feedback gets due consideration for improving the policy process later.



Rendering of new buildings for General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs


Rendering of new buildings for General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs

Qatar’s immigration department will move to new, purpose-built facilities in north Duhail in early 2019, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has announced.

A QR816.7 million complex is to be built on a site opposite Lekhwiya Sports Club for the General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs, which will move from its current site in Al Gharafa.

Other key government offices that have moved to new headquarters in recent years include Civil Defense and the Ministry of Interior.

Bigger complex

The new facilities, to be built by contracting company Al Aali International, will have three buildings.

They will house Nationality and Travel Documents, Expatriate Affairs and the Border Passport department.

Other divisions of the ministry, such as Search and Follow-up and Administrative Affairs, will remain in their existing buildings.

The complex will be accessible to the disabled and elderly, and will have up to 2,000 car park spaces for staff and visitors.

It is expected to be completed in 30 months, the MOI said in a statement.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar Airways/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Residents who need to renew visitor and tourist visas and sort out their exit permits should take note that the office near Doha International Airport is relocating.

Starting Sunday, the Visa, Entry & Travel Permits department will move to its new headquarters in an administrative building near Hamad International Airport.

The office is popular among those who need to visit the immigration department during the weekend, since the main immigration department in Madinat Khalifa is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

New immigration office


New immigration office

According to the Ministry of Interior, the new office will be located near the Cargo section.

For those driving on the highway toward HIA, the new immigration office will involve taking a separate turnoff that comes before the exit for the HIA arrival and departure terminals.

The moves comes a little more than a year after Qatar shifted all airport operations to the much-larger HIA, after outgrowing the DIA.