DOHA: The system of putting residence permit (RP) stickers on passports of expatriate workers during issuance and renewal of RPs could go, if a GCC proposal in this regard is approved by the authorities concerned.
The 28th meeting of GCC immigration directors which began here yesterday discussed this issue, among a series of other important issues. The meeting discussed a proposal to use ID cards instead of the paper stickers on the passports and store all vital information about residents on these cards.
Qatar currently uses ID cards as a vital tool of personal identification but has not yet abolished the sticker system. Introduction of smart ID cards for citizens and expatriates allow the card holders to avail of various Ministry of Interior services online including renewal of residence permits of people under personal or company sponsorship. The procedure may become simpler and faster, if the sticker system is abolished.
The high-level meeting stressed the importance of working on an electronic link to simplify the procedures for issuance of visas and residence permits between the GCC states.
The meeting also discussed measures related to issuance of visas to expatriates visiting other GCC countries and facilities provided to them. Details of the discussions were not disclosed yesterday.
A proposal submitted by Qatar on a training programme for GCC immigration employees and granting them a diploma on successful completion of the course was also discussed in the meeting.
The three-day meeting at Ritz Carlton will conclude tomorrow.
The Qatari delegation is headed by Director General of General Directorate of Border Passports and Expatriate Affairs (GDBPEA) Brigadier Abdulla Salim Al Ali.
Assistant Director General of GDBPEA Brig Mohammed Ahmed Al Ateeq, Director of Search and Follow up Department Brig Nasser Mohammed Al Sayed, Director of Border Passports Dept Col Nasser Abdullah Al Thani, Assistant Director of Nationality and Travel Documents Dept Col Hamad Abdul Wahab Al Mutawwa and Assistant Director of Information Systems Dept Col Abdul Rahman Ali Al Maliki are also part of the Qatari team.
Brig Yousuf bin Ahmed Al Ghatm, assistant undersecretary of Borders and Search and Follow up in Bahrain chaired the sessions yesterday. The Peninsula