e-Governance

Individual Exit permits to be Online Soon in Qatar

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Qatar government to issue smart identity cards to the residents either later this year or in early 2009. These cards would enable the residents to apply for work permits online.

Being able to get exit permits (holders of work visas require an exit permit to leave Qatar, however, their dependents do not require such a permit) for themselves will be a boon to residents, who often are given a runaround by companies before finally getting the vital travel document pior to leaving the country. The QR25m smart ID card project was started in October last year. Till date, around 8,000 nationals have been issued the card. “Our plan is that by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, residents will be issued the smart cards,” said Colonel Saleh Khamis Ghanim Al Kubaisi, Director of the Information Systems Department at the Ministry of Interior, Qatar. The cost of the new ID card will be around 100 Qatari Riyals (QR) and anyone aged 16 and above is eligible for one.

In keeping with the country's paradigm shift towards e-Governance, the new ID card not only serves as identification, but can be used at the e-Gates at Doha International Airport and will also allow the holder to enter into transactions with the government online. “Individuals can renew resident permits, among other services,” said Al Kubaisi. He also said that in May this year, the first of the Qatari biometric passports will be issued. There is also a possibility of incorporating the health card into the smart system at a future date.

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