MENAPolicy Updates

Qatar Unveils 5-Year Entrepreneur Residency Program From $68,000

Qatar has announced the introduction of a five-year residence permit program tailored specifically for highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs. This initiative, which the government has indicated it will launch in the “near future”, aims to establish Qatar as a destination for top-tier talent and enterprising individuals seeking long-term opportunities in the Gulf region.

To qualify for the program’s entrepreneurship route, applicants will need to produce a compelling business plan for an investment opportunity endorsed by a recognized business incubator such as the Qatar Science & Technology Park or Qatar Fintech Hub. 

The minimum investment is QAR 250,000 (some US$68,671), according to MM News

For the talent category, candidates must first secure a stamp of approval from a pertinent Qatari government body, recognizing their expertise in one of 13 designated fields spanning the arts, entertainment, sports, education, scientific research, development, and innovation. 

Additionally, applicants must either have a confirmed job offer or employment agreement with a Qatari company or demonstrate financial self-sufficiency by possessing a minimum of QAR 36,500 (some US$10,027) to cover expenses during the immigration process.

Application process for Qatar’s new residency visa 

The application process for this program involves several steps. First, candidates must obtain an endorsement from the appropriate Qatari government authority. Once secured, they can proceed to submit an online application through the government’s application website.

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Successful applicants will then receive an electronic pre-approval, enabling them to move forward with their immigration journey. Those applying from outside Qatar will need to present this pre-approval at a specialized immigration counter upon arrival to obtain their entry visa. Subsequently, they will undergo a medical assessment and obtain a Qatar Identity Card to complete the process.

The government fees associated with the five-year residence permit vary depending on the category: The talent category costs QAR 4,000 (around US$1,099), while the entrepreneur category costs QAR 5,000 (approximately US$1,374).

It was not immediately clear from the press release whether the five-year visa was renewable, though presumably this is the case. Qatari authorities have indicated they will unveil further details soon. 

The GCC is increasingly competing for talent and capital 

The new Qatari visa will be the latest addition to the immigration landscape in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. The UAE was an early mover, launching its UAE golden visa in 2019, which has grown to become one of the most successful golden visa programs in the world, with more than 152,000 visas issued since the program’s launch. 

More recently, Saudi Arabia launched five different new visas tailored for skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, and real estate investors. 

Reports indicate that Kuwait and Bahrain are mulling the launch of their own golden visa variations, but they’ve yet to announce them in any official capacity. 

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Moustafa Daly AdministratorAuthorParticipant
Head of Digital , IMI

Moustafa Daly is the Head of Digital at IMI, based in Cairo.

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