Qatar is the first Arab Gulf country to offer permanent residency to foreigners living in the country. Offering permanent residency is considered an initial step towards granting citizenship for foreigners living in Qatar for a long time. Some people believe that Qatar should not grant citizenship for foreigners but other people think that Qatar should grant citizenship to residents living in Qatar especially residents living in Qatar for twenty years and more. In fact, granting the long-term residents the Qatari citizenship has many significant benefits which include increasing investment and productivity in Qatar.
Without a doubt, the first advantage of granting citizenship for foreigners living in Qatar is increasing investment in Qatar. Most foreigners living in Qatar need to be sponsored by Qatari people to live, work or do business in Qatar. They cannot do their business without a Qatari citizen to help them issue the documents required for the business. In other words, Qatari people only are allowed to do business in Qatar. Accordingly, the foreigner always feels unsecured, so he cannot increase his investment in Qatar. The result is that Qatar has a limited investment. So, if foreigners are granted citizenship they will be encouraged to invest more.
The second benefit of granting citizenship is more productivity. The Qatar population is little so Qatar needs to employ staff from other nationalities. If they find another job with a better salary outside Qatar, they will leave Qatar for the new job. However, if Qatar grants these employees citizenship, they will feel happy and secured and stay in Qatar. Furthermore, granting citizenship for non-Qatari people is an appreciation for foreigners who are living in Qatar for a long time. Many foreigners did a lot of good things for Qatar and Qatari people like doctors, scientists, athletes, and university teachers. If they do good things when there are residents. They will be more productive if they become a Qatari citizen.
On the other hand, some people argue that granting citizenship for foreigners has several disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is increasing government expenses. The government of Qatar provides the Qatari people with all services for free. These services include education, health care, housing, unemployment salary, electricity, and water. Accordingly, the foreigners who get the Qatari citizenship will receive the same services. This will add more expenses to the government. However, this is not the case. Qatar provides most of these free services, like education and health care, for residents too. Moreover, this issue can get solved with laws to organize the services and how people get them. In addition, the added value of the long-term residents exceeds these expenses. For example, many athletes are from other nationalities. As a result, if they win a competition, their country name is mentioned immediately after his name, so their countries share Qatar or even gets more credits than Qatar. Thus, if athletes get the Qatari citizenship, the praise will go to Qatar only.
In conclusion, the decision of granting citizenship to foreigners will be rewarding. If this decision is taken, the investment will be increased in Qatar as well as the productivity. This decision is not easy to be taken but it deserves a close and wise study.
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