*Seven QVCs to be operational by April, says official

Qatar will open seven visa centres in India, with the first set for launch on March 26 in New Delhi, a senior official said on Thursday.

"All the seven Qatar Visa Centres (QVCs) in India will become operational by April," Major Abdullah Khalifa al-Mohannadi, director of by the Visa Support Services Department under the General Directorate of Passports, Ministry of Interior, announced at a seminar.

The second QVC will be opened in Mumbai on March 28, followed by Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow and Kolkata during April, he said.

“The QVCs will ease inconveniences faced by expatriates from India, simplify the proceedings and ensure protection of their rights,” al- Mohannadi said, adding India is one of the countries with a huge number of immigrants working in Qatar.

“An integrated recruitment system with QVC will help both employers and employees complete proceedings easily,” Major al-Mohannadi said.

Job seekers, tourists and visitors from India planning to come to Qatar will have to complete proceedings through the QVCs. Private and semi-government companies also need to bring employees from India through these centres.

The seminar was held to introduce QVCs to Indian community and representatives of various companies. The event was held at the Sheikh Fahad Auditorium at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry building in Lusail.

Applicants can use the services including attestation and biometric enrollment at the seven QVCs. Facilities will be also in place for medical checkup and this is expected to reduce the risk of serious diseases being carried to Qatar.

Employees will be able to get electronic contracts through the QVCs. Besides Arabic and English, services and notifications will be available in Hindi.

Al-Mohannadi said steps will be taken to add more local languages according to the need.

He said help will be extended to applicants through call centres and free sim cards distributed to successful applicants before they leave for Qatar.

Qatar opened the first QVC in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2018. Similar centres are currently extending services in Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan.

Major al-Mohannadi said the department is planning to open more QVCs in various countries. In the first phase of the project, the focus is on Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Tunisia and the Philippines.

QVCs are set up and function with co-operation from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health.

Mohamed al-Meer, labour consultant at MADLSA, and Captain Nasser Ali al-Khalaf, head of Visa Section, Visa Support Services Department, General Directorate of Passports, Ministry of Interior, were also present at the seminar.

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