News Details

Immigration Developments in the MENA Region

Date Posted: Wed, 07 Sep, 2022

Immigration Developments in the MENA Region

Read the September update given by Fragomen about immigration developments within the MENA region.

11 August 2022 - Degree Attestation Process Amended

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has amended the attestation process for academic degrees issued outside of Qatar. Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has amended the attestation process for academic degrees issued outside of Qatar. Effective immediately, individuals looking to attest the following academic degrees for Qatar immigration purposes will no longer require a University Verification Letter (UVL) to support the attestation process:
1. Bachelor’s Degree
2. Master’s Degree
3. Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)
Under the updated process, individuals need only provide their academic degree and an official transcript to carry out the attestation. Both documents must be attested by MOFA in Qatar and Qatari consular representation located in the country of issuance. MOFA and Qatari consular posts or embassies will not attest academic degrees obtained through distance learning or open universities (institutions that employ distance education technologies and provide open access and admission to all within the country or region).
As this is a new development, Fragomen still advises for applicants to confirm that the UVL is not required with the local Qatari Embassy for the time being.

19 August 2022 – Temporary New Entry Requirements for Visitors to Qatar

From November 1, 2022 to January 23, 2023, entry to Qatar will be restricted to Hayya card holders, residents and nationals of Qatar. All visitors will be required to hold a Hayya
Card to enter Qatar. This includes nationals and residents of GCC countries, those
attending the FIFA World Cup 2022 and non-attendees during this period.
The Hayya Card will effectively serve as an entry permit for visitors. These requirements
are temporarily in place due to the FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament being hosted in
Currently, applications are being accepted for FIFA World Cup ticket holders with
confirmed accommodation in order to be issued a Hayya Card. Specific Hayya card
application rules for those not attending the World Cup will be announced in due course.

29 August 2022 - Visa-Free Entry Announced for Nationals of South Korea

The Qatari and South Korean governments have signed a bilateral agreement facilitating
visa-free entry for nationals of each country.
The governments of Qatar and South Korea have signed a bilateral agreement facilitating
visa-free entry for nationals of each country, allowing stays for up to 90 days. This
agreement aims to develop stronger economic ties between the two countries.
The agreement is expected to become effective on September 16, 2022.


12 August 2022 - Updated List of Professions Limited to Omani Nationals

Effective immediately, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) has issued an updated list of
professions limited to Omani nationals, which has decreased from 257 to 207 professions.
Earlier, policies across various sectors and professions in Oman were limited to Omani
nationals to enforce Omanisation (please refer to Middle East Immigration News Flashes
published in January 2021 and February 2021).
The positions that have been removed from the updated list include: reinsurance
specialist, light and optics lab technician, optometrist, systems analysis technician,
operator in oil products, and paramedic and purchasing/delivery representatives.


15 August 2022 - Suspension of Family Visit Visas and Tourist Visas Until Further

Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior has suspended the issuance of family visit visas and tourist
visas until further notice. The suspension excludes e-visas and visas-on-arrival issued to
nationals of select countries.
A new regulatory framework is being developed whilst this suspension is in place. No
further details have been announced at this time.


30 August 2022- Unstable Security Situation Impacts Processing of Immigration Applications

Iraqi government agencies will be temporarily closed due to an unstable security situation in Baghdad. Foreign nationals and their employers should expect delays in immigration application processing.
Due to an unstable security situation in Baghdad, Iraqi government agencies are temporarily closed. Therefore, foreign nationals and their employers should expect delays in immigration application processing.
Although the nationwide curfew imposed by the Iraqi government earlier this week has been lifted and select government agencies are expected to resume work on August 31, foreign nationals and their employers should also anticipate difficulties in travelling to and from Iraq, especially Baghdad. This is due to the suspension of flights by international carriers, in addition to potential closures of international and domestic airports.
Fragomen recommends that employers carefully monitor the situation in Iraq before having workers depart and enter the country at this time.
The security situation in Baghdad remains extremely volatile amid reports of gunfire, clashes, and protests in the city’s Green Zone district which began late last week. The Green Zone is home to foreign military contractors, foreign embassies and other government offices.


Fragomen is the world’s leading single-focus provider of immigration services and support. Our firm is comprised of law practices and immigration consultancies that work together to support our clients across all regions globally. At Fragomen, we leverage our collective immigration experience to offer clients targeted and trusted solutions that help them achieve their local, regional and worldwide business goals.
Fragomen’s team of dedicated immigration professionals has extensive experience in working with multinational businesses, local employers, start-ups and individual investors. We have a deep understanding of the region and maintain strong professional relationships with immigration authorities. Our MENA immigration team is supported on a global basis by over 3,800 immigration professionals in more than 50 offices worldwide. Together, we provide comprehensive immigration support in over 170 countries.
All we do is immigration, a sole focus that makes a considerable difference. Unlike many other providers, all of our thinking, passion and resources are dedicated to improving the immigration experiences of our clients and their employees. We have the track record, region specific experience and know-how to provide you with a streamlined and compliant immigration solution.
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