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Visas, Volcanoes and Rubber Stamps

Bad news: thanks to Qatar's new visa regulations, from 1st May, visit visas will no longer be issued on entry at the airport.
Good news: my client agrees to obtain for me a multiple entry business visa for the remainder of my contract.
Bad news: in order to do this, he needs my 'original certificate', stamped by the British Embassy.
Worse news: my 36 year-old (!) graduation certificate is in the UK.
Good news: they will refund my flight home to get it, then issue the multiple entry visa when I bring it back.
Bad news: if I go back to get it, I can't bring it back without the entry visa - catch 22. Besides which, I'm in no rush to be among the first to test the volcanic ash. I'll let you know how it all pans out. Meanwhile, I'll keep trying to understand why a graduation certificate awarded in 1974 to my distant young hippy namesake is worth several lost days and seven thousand miles of superfluous carbon footprint. Because that's beyond my grasp right now.

12 comments:

  1. Best news: If Arabian Business.com is to be believed, your problems have evaporated.

    http://carolynn-dubailife.blogspot.com/2010/04/qatar-delays-plan-to-scrap-visas-on.html

    Maybe there is an Allah after all.

    Abu al Banat

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  2. That is good news, if it's true. Thanks for that!

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  3. Most of the papers are carrying the same story - it could be true. Certainly worth checking out...

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  4. Hi Seabee - that's good, and not entirely surprising. There's been a lot of rumblings in the Qatar papers that the change would cost millions in lost business. The powers here tend to listen to financial arguments!

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  5. is there an official government site/press release that details the new visa rules and countries affected? esp on graduation proof

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  6. Yes there is an official site:
    http://www.qatarembassy.net/visa.asp
    I've just been there and in big red letters there's a new announcement:

    Updated.. 04/19/2010

    ***Please review this page carefully since Visas upon Arrival to Qatar has been extended until further notice***

    So it would appear that the crisis is over. Validation of qualifications seems to vary from company to company, with the ones closer to Government being stricter, unsurprisingly.

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  7. At times I find your globe trotting lifestyle quite enviable. At other times however, not so much.
    Still, seems your client values your services enough to be as helpful as possible and, judging by your last post, all's well that ends well.

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  8. Hi Richard - in fact, though I've worked in many places, most of the time I'm based in one place (currently Doha) for years at a time. I wouldn't entertain a job that involved 'covering' a region, meaning spending half your days in planes and airports. That's both soul-destroying and unsustainable.

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  9. Does it mean that you have to pay for translation into Arabic?

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  10. Not yet, but who knows, maybe someday...

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  11. Interesting post. Glad the new visa policy has been scrapped (if it's true).

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  12. It hasn't so much been scrapped as put on hold until further notice - that way no-one loses face (the most important consideration here!)
    Thanks for touring the blog this morning :)

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