Nigerians are being tricked into trading money for a work visa with the Hayya Card.
Nigerians have been warned to remain cautious of con artists who offer the Hayya Card as a form of work visa in exchange for extortionate fees and unfounded claims of employment in Qatar.
For admittance into the nation during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, spectators, visitors, and officials were all issued the Hayya Card.
However, Qatar extended the validity of the Hayya Card for fans and organisers wishing to enter Doha until 24 January 2024. The extended period came after popular demand to allow family and friends to enter the country, after the initial period for the fan ID expired on 23 January this year.
Those with the ID, a crucial document used at the time of the World Cup, must abide by a set of conditions in order to enter using the card.
One condition entails having proof of hotel reservation or accommodation with family or friends that is approved through the online Hayya Portal. Another such requirement is having health insurance valid for the duration of stay in Doha along with a return ticket.
Those wishing to enter the country must also have a passport that is valid for no less than three months upon their arrival to Qatar.
“Unfortunately, some Nigerians, agents, even individuals who were fortunate to have the Hayya Card during the World Cup are now taking the opportunity to scam so many people,” President of the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation – Qatar (NIDO-Qatar), Ajibade Lateef said, according to local outlet The Peninsula.
The Hayya Card entitles its owner to invite a maximum of three family members or friends, and according to Lateef, individuals are being charged up to four million Nigerian Naira extra—which is equivalent to approximately QAR 31,628—for the Hayya admission permission.
Lateef claimed that as a result, the Nigerian community had sent out announcements cautioning Nigerians to be aware of these false promises and to follow the proper procedures when applying for a visa.
“With the increasing number of reports relating to the Hayya Card scam, NIDO Qatar would like to inform everyone, especially potential victims, that the Hayya Card can only be accepted as a form of a Tourist visa. IT CANNOT BE CHANGED TO WORK VISA/PERMIT,” a statement by NIDO-Qatar as quoted by the Doha-based media.
“Nigerians home and abroad are hereby advised to not fall into any form of scam promising to change the Hayya Card to Work Visa once they arrive in Qatar.”
Even after the World Cup, according to Lateef, there are still misconceptions among the public. He added that he has come across more than 15 instances of people who have been targets of this latest scam.
“We have to sensitise the community, at home and abroad, about the Hayya Card status. We have so many people in the country who are stranded because they lied to them that they were coming with a work visa,” Lateef elaborated.
“They have paid a huge amount of money and paid for a hotel only for them to get here and realise they cannot change the Hayya Card to a work visa.”
Visitors with the Hayya Card can access the “Hayya with Me” feature that enables holders of the ID to invite up to three family members or friends.
Hayya holders can also obtain a multiple-entry permit to Qatar and can access the e-Gate system for entry and exit via State ports with no fees required.
The Hayya card allowed millions to enter the Gulf state during the FIFA World Cup in November and December, providing easier access to those hoping to explore the country.