Every expatriate who is issued a Residence Permit is also given a Qatar ID Card as part of the application process. These are credit-card sized plastic cards containing a photo of the holder plus basic personal information. It is mandatory for residents and citizens to have one. They are required to complete many bureaucratic procedures such as applying for driving licences, opening bank accounts and also to gain admission to licensed premises. They are 'smart card' style, which allows the user to access a number of official online services, such as driving licence renewal, and also access the e-Gate system at Doha airport, which allows card holders to bypass the queues at immigration.
There is a standard minimum fee for an ID card, which is usually covered by the sponsoring employer. An extra fee is charged to access all the smart card features and the e-Gate service. ID Cards must be renewed when expired (usually at the same time as the Residence Permit).
To apply for a card (if not already arranged by the sponsoring employer) see the Hukoomi website
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