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QATAR: Residency for Foreign Investors Now Permitted

Foreign investors and property developers will now be able to apply for Qatari residency without a local sponsor.

The move was announced on 17 September in an amendment to an existing law that allows foreign investors to apply for five-year renewable residency. The amendment allows the Ministry of Interior to issue entry permits and grant renewable five-year residency permits to foreigners investing an unspecified amount of ‘non-Qatari capital’ in the economy. Furthermore, foreign investors will no longer be required to have a Qatari business or individual sponsor to obtain residency, as was previously the case. Foreign property developers, and foreign owners and beneficiaries of real estate in accordance with the provisions of the law regulating non-Qatari ownership, will also be eligible for residency under the scheme.

Qatar, the third-largest economy in the Gulf region, has introduced a number of initiatives to attract foreign investment to boost development of its non-energy revenues. Last year, the government announced legislation that allows 100% foreign ownership in most sectors. Previously, foreign investors could only own up to 49% of companies listed on Qatar's stock exchange.

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