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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Qatar visa centre in India to reopen within days

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The announcement comes amid increased public demand for opening up visa applications with many residents stuck abroad.

Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced on Thursday that its visa centre in India will reopen on December 3.

According to the ministry, people wishing to apply for a Qatari visa can schedule appointments through the centre’s website.

The announcement comes amid an increase in demands by the thousands of residents stuck abroad due to the travel restrictions placed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Qatar has seven visa centres (QVC) operating in different cities across India, including: New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kochi. There are more visa centres operating in other countries as well, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Opened in 2019, the QVCs were established to facilitate and simplify the recruitment and work visa procedures for Indian expatriates travelling to Qatar for work and curb the extortion of migrant workers by recruitment companies that would often force people to pay money in order to secure a job in Doha.

Read also: 13,000 Bangladeshi workers stuck abroad ‘struggling to make ends meet’

Last week, the Indian embassy in Qatar and the Indian Community Benevolent Forum [ICBF] held a special consular camp to provide passport and attestation services for Indian workers living in ‘Asian Town’.

According to the Indian ambassador to Qatar, Dr Deepak Mittal, the embassy will hold a similar camp once a month at the same location as well as in different parts of Qatar to provide passport and consular services for Indian nationals.

Earlier in August, the Indian Embassy had also said that they were working on a mechanism that would help their nationals with valid Qatari permits to return.

Despite the provision of an Exceptional Entry Permit [EEP] system, many residents and families have been stuck outside the country without knowing when they will be able to return.

On Thursday the Government Communications Office announced that amendments were being made to the EEP system allowing those who wish to travel and return in future to do so much easier, however it failed to address the issue of the tens of thousands of Qatar residents that are still stuck abroad, nor did it mention when or if they would be able to return. 

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