Qatar opened the first overseas Qatar Visa Centre in the Republic of Sri Lanka this week, the first of several centres to be opened in eight countries to simplify the procedures of expatriate recruitment and to protect the rights of all parties involved.

The project is overseen by the of Recruitment Support Services Department at the General Directorate of Passports in collaboration with a service provider who will take charge of taking over the preliminary procedures for visa application. The centres will enable the government, and the private and recruitment enterprises in the country to complete the process of bringing expatriate workers from abroad through a single channel.

The services to be provided by the Visa Centre include fingerprinting, registration of biometric data, medical examination and signing of work contract. The centres would ensure that procedures are simplified, avoiding cases of repatriation in the event of the worker’s incapacity to work. These procedures would also allow expats to start work immediately after entry to Qatar.

This project is in partnership with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It will be implemented in several phases and new services will be added soon. The Ministry of Interior is seeking to expand the scope of the project and make it mandatory for any visa applicant to go through the visa procedure before entry to the country.

The authorities are calling on all recruitment agencies in the country and in Sri Lanka to learn more about the new recruitment procedures through the MOI website and Metrash 2 service.