Posted on December 28, 2018

The government of Qatar opened its first Qatar Visa Center in Pakistan in Islamabad, as part of efforts to facilitate and streamline procedures for bringing expatriates to work in the country.

Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, special assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources development, advisor at the office of the Minister of Interior of Qatar Major General Abdullah Salim Al Ali, Director of Visa Support Services Department of the Ministry of Interior of Qatar Major Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhannadi and Labour expert at the Qatar Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Muhammed Al Meer attended the inauguration ceremony.  

On the occasion the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Pakistan, Saqr bin Mubarak Al Mansouri said, “In the context of strengthening the distinguished relations between the two countries, and the keenness of the State of Qatar to support these relations, the State of Qatar has decided to choose Pakistan as one of the first eight countries to launch two Qatar Visas Centers in Islamabad and Karachi.

This is in order to facilitate the recruitment of skilled labour from Pakistan, as well as to provide the required services for obtaining visas to the State of Qatar for the purpose of (visit and residence). “It is to be noted that these procedures were carried out in the past after the entry of the expatriate to the State and will be done now by these centres in the origin country of the expatriate. This will ensure speedy completion of special process for the issuance of visas and residence permits in Qatar. However, these procedures, which are carried out at Qatar Visa Centers, do not affect the local procedures of the expatriate country related to travel abroad.”

The Ambassador also stressed on the decision of the State of Qatar to increase the number of Pakistani workers in Qatar whereby the State of Qatar will bring professional and semi-professional cadres of Pakistanis migrant workers to work on the infrastructure projects currently underway in Qatar in the framework of hosting the World Cup 2022. He also expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Pakistani workforce in the State of Qatar and its participation in the development of the State of Qatar, stressing that the State of Qatar provides a good environment for foreign employees. The United Nations Agency, International Labor Organization (ILO) has recognized the facilities granted by Qatar to foreign workers from all over the world, he added. 

Speaking to the media, Director of Visa Support Services Department of the Qatari Ministry of Interior, Major Abdullah Khalifa Al Muhannadi said that the opening of Qatar Visa Center in Islamabad comes as a part of the plan of the Ministry of Interior of Qatar for launching Qatar Visa Center abroad for easing and simplifying the procedures for getting Residence Permit in Qatar, which facilitates the expatriate to start the employment immediately after entering the country. By opening the Center, we can ensure best practices and customer satisfaction through reducing the time for process completion, either related with residence permit or visa or recruitment of maids or those who are in this status, Major Al Muhannadi pointed out. 

He also clarified that the opening of the Center in Islamabad is a completion of various phases of the project that started by the government of Qatar for protecting the rights of expatriate workforce while they are in Qatar and easing their work procedures. “We have already opened Qatar Visa Centers in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and we are going to open the remaining centres soon in other five countries. Through the Qatar Visa Center, those who leave for Qatar for employment, can complete medical test and sign work contract before their departure to Qatar and this step is an evidence of the keenness of the government of Qatar for ensuring the protection and safety for expatriates coming to Qatar for work,” Al Muhannadi mentioned. 

Work visa applicants migrating to Qatar will be required to sign work contracts, enrol their biometrics data, and undergo medical test at the Qatar Visa Center. The centre operates through an integrated electronic system to complete the enrolment of biometric data and required medical check-ups. 

The application process for work visa applicants from Pakistan to Qatar requires the applicants to get a visa reference number from the Ministry of Interior of Qatar, then booking an appointment by visiting www.qatarvisacenter.com and visiting Qatar Visa Center on appointment date no earlier than fifteen minutes before the scheduled time. At the reception, the identity of the visa applicant is verified, the list of required documents checked, and a token issued. Once the token is called, visa applicants are required to digitally sign their work contract, enrol biometric data and undergo the required medical tests. Upon completion of the process at the visa centre, visa applicants will be able to track the status of the application online or through their employer in the State of Qatar. 

Conveniently located at I-A, I&T Center,G-6, Islamabad, the visa centre is equipped with state-of-the-art biometric enrolment & medical test facility. The visa centre is designed in line with international standards ensuring greater transparency, traceability and increased security for the visa applicants. The centre operates between 8:30 am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday. In consideration of facilitating procedures for Pakistani applicants, the second Qatar Visa Center in Pakistan will be inaugurated on the 29th of December 2018 at Karachi. 

Some of the key medical tests to be conducted at the centre include blood tests, x-ray, visual assessments, and physical examinations. The operations are backed by a team of highly qualified healthcare professionals with internal systems and processes based on the latest medical standards and best practices.

Qatar Visa Center maintains robust multi-lingual information services for the benefit of visa applicants across multiple touch points. Information on appointment scheduling, requirements and steps at the visa centre can be found in English, Urdu and Arabic through its dedicated website (http://www.qatarvisacenter.com), call center helpline +920 51 843 938 4, email Info.pak@qatarvisacenter.com and walk-in at the reception.

source: The Peninsula

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