Nigerians have been urged to be careful of scam agents who offer the Hayya Card as a work visa, charging exorbitant amounts with false promises of jobs in Qatar. The Hayya Card was the entry permit issued to visitors, fans and officials for entry into the country for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The permit, which was supposed to expire on January 23 this year, was extended, allowing holders outside the country to enter Qatar until January 24, 2024, based on several conditions.
These terms include hotel reservation or accommodation with family or friends in Qatar, a valid passport, health insurance to cover the period of stay and a return ticket.
The extension came after popular demand to enable family and friends to enter the country. During the World Cup, millions trouped into the country using the Hayya Card, providing easier access to those hoping to explore the country.
“Unfortunately, some Nigerians, agents, even individuals who were fortunate to have the Hayya Card during the World Cup are now taking the opportunity to scam so many people,” President of the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation – Qatar (NIDO-Qatar), Ajibade Lateef, told The Peninsula.
The Hayya Card allows holders to invite up to three family members or friends, and according to Lateef, people are being billed up to four million Nigerian Naira to be added for the Hayya entry permit. Lateef said this had prompted the Nigerian community to send communiqués warning people back in Nigeria to be wary of these fake promises and follow due process while applying for a visa.
“With the increasing number of reports relating to the Hayya Card scam, NIDO Qatar would like to inform everyone, especially potential victims, that the Hayya Card can only be accepted as a form of a Tourist visa. IT CANNOT BE CHANGED TO WORK VISA/PERMIT,” a statement by NIDO-Qatar to the community read.
“Nigerians home and abroad are hereby advised to not fall into any form of scam promising to change the Hayya Card to Work Visa once they arrive in Qatar,” the statement added.
Lateef mentioned to The Peninsula that people are still misinformed even after the World Cup, adding that he has encountered more than 15 cases of individuals who have fallen prey to this scam.
“We have to sensitise the community, at home and abroad, about the Hayya Card status. We have so many people in the country who are stranded because they lied to them that they were coming with a work visa. They have paid a huge amount of money and paid for a hotel only for them to get here and realise they cannot change the Hayya Card to a work visa,” Lateef stressed.