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New Rule Allows Foreign Investors Residency in Qatar

By Tavis J. Hampton | March 28, 2011

A new rule in Qatar allows foreigners to apply for residency permits.  Under the rule, a property acts as a sponsor for the individual, whereas any immigrant wishing to receive a residence permit in the past had to have a human sponsor.

Qatar capital Doha at night
Qatar capital Doha at night

So far ten people with leases in the country have applied for residency using their properties as their sponsors, and as many as 70 non-Qataris from a variety of countries have applied for real estate ownership since the rule was implemented.Others, particularly foreign realty firms, are hoping to use the rule to purchase larger real estate, such as towers in Doha.

Before purchasing property, investors are required to have Qatari visas, and the original sponsor of any current property owners must sign over sponsorship to the property.  They would then purchase the property under a 99-year leasehold agreement.  They can then use the property for personal or commercial use, or use the property as if it were their own, transferring the lease to another party, subletting, or renting.

The State of Qatar is a gulf country controlled by a monarchy.  It has experience rapid economic growth over the past several years, including extensive real estate development.  Strict sponsorship rules restricted foreign workers and investors in the past.  Therefore, many investors will excitedly welcome these new reforms.

Feature image, courtesy: Amjra.

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