CATHERINE W GICHUKI
The Ministry of Interior has decided to suspend entry of visitors to Qatar from November 1, 2022, allowing only Hayya Card holders during the FIFA World Cup. However, visitor entry will resume from December 23, 2022.
Hayya Card holder will be allowed entry to Qatar starting from Nov 1, 2022, until Dec 23, 2022. They are allowed to stay in the country until January 23, 2023.
The Ministry of Interior on Wednesday announced the measures to facilitate entry and exit procedures to and from the country through air, land and marine borders during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
“Entry of visitors to the country is suspended effective from November 1, 2022, and visit visas will resume starting from December 23, 2022. Hayya Card holders will be allowed to enter the country starting from November 1, 2022, until December 23, 2022, and can stay in the country until January 23, 2023,” said Brigadier Abdullah Khalifa Al Muftahm, Director of Public Relations Department and Head of the Media Unit, World Cup Safety and Security Committee.
Brigadier Al Muftah said that Qatari citizens, residents and GCC citizens holding a Qatari ID card have been exempted from this decision. Also exempted from this decision are holders of personal recruitment visas, and work entry permits.
Additionally, the exemption includes humanitarian cases through the airport, based on approval from the official application platform.
“Holders of residency permits can enter the country at any time. Housemaids will also be allowed to enter the country during this period,” Brigadier Abdullah said.
He further pointed out that the Ministry of Interior calls on all individuals to abide by the laws and regulations issued in this regard, and not violate them for the success of Qatar’s organisation and hosting of the upcoming football event.
During the Q&A session, it was emphasized that services pertaining to citizens and residents will not be affected by these procedures: as holders of personal recruitment visas such as (domestic workers and drivers) as well as holders of work, entry permits were excluded from these procedures, therefore, enabling them to enter the country and complete their procedures.
As for what is meant by humanitarian cases excluded from the entry and exit procedures during the tournament, it was clarified that an electronic platform will be launched in this regard, including controls and specific humanitarian cases, such as; death, sickness and other humanitarian cases.
On the other hand, when it comes to Hayya Card holders’ procedures, cases of overstay beyond the Jan. 23, 2023, limit, will be subject to legal procedures specified by the law, and applied in cases of violation.
Moreover, concerning whether or not Hayya Cards allow for multiple entries and exist to and from the country, it was confirmed that Hayya Card allows multiple entries to Qatar, as well as provides its holder with a number of advantages that were previously announced.