Qatar eases bank laws for expats with expired visas

 30 Oct 2017 - 13:28

Qatar eases bank laws for expats with expired visas

By Zainab Fattah / Bloomberg

Qatar’s central bank is easing its banking rules for expatriates. The regulator ordered lenders to allow foreign workers to conduct normal banking transactions for 90 days after the expiry date of their visa, according to a statement posted on its website on Sunday. The rule change is in line with an existing policy allowing expatriates to stay for three months from the end of a residency permit.

The law “aims to facilitate the transactions of residents in the State of Qatar and to ensure the proper functioning of their financial affairs,” the central bank said in the statement. Qatar’s banks, like others in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, have typically blocked expat accounts once residency is canceled or expires to ensure debts are settled before they leave the country.

Sunday’s order follows landmark legislation in August granting permanent residency to some of the foreigners, who offered valuable services to the country and people with special capacities that the country needs. The policy, a first in the Gulf, was much appreciated by expatriates.