qatarperegrine: (travel)
This morning found me driving over to the airport immigration office to renew my tourist visa.

Yep, tourist visa. When I came here three years ago my work visa was mistakenly issued in my maiden name, and thus all my official paperwork in Qatar, from my residency permit to my liquor license, is in my maiden name. Last year I got a new passport, and Qatar refused to transfer my old visa over, because (surprise!) the names don't match.

Since then I've been traveling with my old passport and residency permit stapled to my new one, but when I returned from Gabon a month ago, airport immigration not only refused to accept it but also cancelled it on the spot. I entered the country on a one-month tourist visa, and since my new work visa isn't ready yet, I had to renew it today.

I was dreading my trip to immigration this morning, but it was not the madhouse I expected. There were signs all over the building making it clear exactly where you needed to go for various visa procedures, and the employees were quick and efficient. As you can see from the picture, people even stood in lines! (Cynical comment from an anonymous cynical friend: "Well, the clients aren't locals....") I expected a huge headache, but it was not an unpleasant experience at all.

Next up: medical and X-ray! Again!

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qatarperegrine

August 2011

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