By Sidi Mohamed | The Peninsula
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced yesterday that Qatar Visa Centers abroad would gradually reopen in Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
“Appointment booking started for Qatar Visa Centres (QVC) in Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines through QVC website as part of reopening these Centers in coming days,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry added that work would begin in the Kathmandu centre in Nepal tomorrow (December 10).
Qatar Visa Center (QVC) in Islamabad, Pakistan, will resume operations on December 14, while the Manila QVC will reopen on December 15. Qatar reopened the visa centres in several Indian cities last week.
Local businessmen have welcomed the government decision to reopen the visa centres in major workforce exporting countries terming it a ‘great relief’ for companies at a time when local market needs workers.
“We were waiting impatiently for reopening of QVCs to recruit workforce from overseas for our newly opened stores and those in line to be opened in coming months,” Director of Lulu Hypermarkets, Dr. Mohamed Althaf told The Peninsula.
Althaf said that Lulu Hypermarkets is preparing to process over 100 visas in the first batch at QVC in Kochi, India.
He said reopening of QVC services in major workforce exporting countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines will bring great relief to the companies waiting for workers.
President of Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), Azim Abbas also lauded the decision. “Local market needs workforce because many people left the country after the outbreak of COVID-19. The new decision will enable construction and other companies to hire workforce from overseas to boost their projects and deliver them on time,” said Abbas.
These centres aim to simplify and facilitate procedures for employers and provide more protection to expatriate workers coming to work in Qatar. Fingerprinting and processing biometric data, medical examinations, and signing employment contracts are the visa centres’ key services.
The first overseas Qatar Visa Center was inaugurated in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in October 2018.
The project targets employment through 20 service centres in eight countries: Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.
One of the significant benefits of QVCs is that they allow workers to get detailed information about their work contracts including salaries, vacations, incentives, and allowances — in their own languages — before they leave their countries for Doha.
The project is being implemented in cooperation between the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.