Qatar's Ministry of Interior held a press conference for announcing the launch of the Smart ID Card for Expatriates on Tuesday, 17/5/2011 morning at Media Centre of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior in Doha.
From the Ministry of Interior, Director of information systems department Brig. Salih Khamis Al Kubaisi, Assistant director of General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs Brig. Muhammed Ahmed Al Atheeque and Assistant director of Public Relations Department Lt. Col. Muhammed Majid Al Sulaithi and reporters and correspondents of various approved local and foreign media attended the press conference.
"The Smart ID Card for Expatriates (SIDE) is one of the projects of the Ministry of Interior carried out by the Information Systems Department in cooperation with General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs. The SIDE is a smart ID card similar to the smart ID card issued to the Qatari citizens previously. We issue it to the expatriates in Qatar for delivering various electronic services offered by the smart ID card to them easily and the SIDE can be used as an ID card for the holder, for completing transactions through Internet, E-Gate Services at Doha International Airport and also completing transactions through Self-Service kiosks" said Brig. Al Kubaisi explaining the features of the SIDE. He also added that the Ministry of Interior has arranged devices for taking the biometric data and smart ID card self service kiosks at service centers of the Ministry of Interior in various parts of the country.
Speaking in the press conference, Brig. Muhammed Al Atheeque said that the old ID card will be exchanged with a smart Id card on which the rules and regulations of the ID card law will be applied in case of requesting for activating the e-services and the e-gate service. The smart ID card comprises of an electronic chip in which the personal data will be stored and these data cannot be accessed without entering PIN or matching fingerprint with fingerprint stored in the chip.
Mentioning to the issuance fee, Brig. Al Atheeque added that the fee for issuing a SIDE is is QR 100 and an additional charge of QR 250 should be paid for activating e-services on the electronic chip stored with biometric data, which means the total amount for issuing an activated SIDE is QR 350. For the activation of the e-gate service on SIDE is QR 100 for one year and QR 150 for two years, while the fee for three years is QR 200, he added.
"The holder of a SIDE can avail a lot of services through e-government portal after activation of the card by payment of the prescribed fee and filling up the agreement on activating the e-services on the Smart ID card such as completing visa transactions as per prior approval, completing all kinds of transactions related to residence permit, issuance of exit permit, issuance of return permit for expatriate, renewal of driving license, issuance of a new driving license instead of lost or damaged one and many other services" said Brig. Al Atheeque.
Commenting on the services offered by the SIDE, the Assistant director of the General Directorate of Borders Passports and Expatriates Affairs pointed out that the holder of a SIDE can complete several transactions such as residence permit services, visa services, traffic services and general enquiry through Self Service Kiosks available at various business centers in Qatar such as Q-Post main office, Landmark mall, Villagio mall, Royal plaza shopping centre and Lulu hypermarket( Airport branch) and also at Visa section of the Airport Security and Passports Department.
Al Atheeque also clarified that the required biometric data for SIDE are machine readable personal photo, eye print and prints of right and left index finger and this will be taken through biometric data capturing machine which is a multifunctional device to capture biometric data and it is an Integrated machine linked completely with Ministry systems, which can quickly capture the biometric data.