The situation

According to observed changes in practice, Egyptian nationals in Qatar are facing delays and restrictions in completing certain immigration processes.

A closer look

  • Affected applications. The following processes for Egyptian nationals are currently suspended or subject to significant delays:
    • Transfer of sponsorship between employers;
    • Issuance of new labor cards for female applicants with a residence permit sponsored by her husband or father; and
    • Renewal of labor cards for female applicants with a residence permit sponsored by her husband or father.
  • Unaffected applications. Egyptian nationals renewing work and residence permits, including residence permits for dependents, are currently unaffected by the restrictions.
  • Prior restrictions. The restrictions on Egyptian nationals obtaining entry visas, including visas for work or residence in Qatar, implemented in June 2017, are still in effect.

Impact

Employers of Egyptian nationals and Egyptian nationals should be aware that it may be more difficult to work in Qatar as they may not be able to switch jobs in country and female applicants may face delays and restrictions obtaining or renewing labor cards.

Background

In June 2017, many Middle Eastern countries, including some Gulf Cooperation Council Member States (GCC) and Egypt, severed their diplomatic ties with Qatar. The crisis has resulted in increased restrictions on mobility within the Gulf, primarily to and from Qatar due to the closure of land, marine and airspace borders, and withdrawal of staff from consular posts in Qatar.

Further, in January 2019, Qatar discontinued issuing visitor visas for GCC residents with a residence permit issued by the United Arab Emirates.

Looking ahead

The delays and restrictions for Egyptian nationals are expected to continue as diplomatic ties are not expected to be restored in the near future between Qatar and the GCC states and Egypt. Fragomen will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.