Can An Expat in Qatar Become Citizen?

Curious about the possibility of transitioning from an expatriate to a citizen in Qatar? Wonder no more, as we delve into the intricate process and shed light on the crucial elements that pave the path towards Qatari citizenship. In this exploration, we aim to address the burning question: Can an expat in Qatar become a citizen?

From the initial stages of the Qatar visa check to the final steps of naturalization, we navigate through the requirements and considerations that shape this transformative journey.

Legal residents who have been residing in Qatar for a minimum of 25 years without any breaks exceeding two consecutive months within a year have the opportunity to apply for Qatari citizenship. Although the process may be intricate for non-Qatari nationals, they still stand as viable candidates for attaining such a status. Below is the list of things that you need to pay attention to when considering a Qatari citizenship: 

  1. Before pursuing citizenship, it is necessary to first apply for permanent residency and maintain a continuous residence in the country for a period of 5 years. However, it is important to note that the overall process may span several years before reaching its conclusion.
  2. The authorities will request details concerning your occupation and income. Therefore, the approval of your Qatar citizenship application is contingent upon the nature of your employment.
  3. Furthermore, you should take into account the assessment of any outstanding debts. The Qatari authorities retain the right to inquire about your financial obligations prior to processing your citizenship application.
  4. Proficiency in the Arabic language constitutes an additional prerequisite for obtaining Qatar citizenship, even though English is commonly spoken within the state.

Qatar has one of the most restrictive citizenship laws in the world, based mostly on jus sanguinis (right of blood). This means that children born in Qatar are not automatically granted Qatari citizenship, unless they have a Qatari father. Any person who can prove Qatari descent may apply for citizenship, but this is subject to certain conditions and approval by the Emir of Qatar. Moreover, Qatar does not recognize dual citizenship, which means that applicants must renounce their original nationality if they are granted Qatari citizenship.

However, foreign nationals can attain permanent residency in Qatar through the Golden Visa Programme, subject to specific conditions. These stipulations encompass the necessity of acquiring a real estate asset valued at a minimum of USD 200,000, with the additional caveat that such a purchase must occur within designated areas.

It’s important to highlight that the responsibility for overseeing foreigners seeking to invest in Qatar in return for permanent residence lies with the Qatari Ministry of Interior. In terms of prerequisites, the eligibility for an investor visa in Qatar hinges upon the fulfillment of various criteria, including the possession of a Good Conduct Certificate, a health assessment indicating successful completion of medical examinations, a valid passport, an unblemished criminal record, and evidence of payment for the requisite fees.