The government will no longer accept distance learning degrees, among other questionable restrictions.

Christine is a journalist from South Africa, who has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, covering everything from hard news to art to business & tech. Having been bitten by the travel bug as an infant, Christine finds it fairly easy to uproot herself in search of new adventures and stories. With degrees in both fine arts and journalism, she’s equally interested in visual storytelling as well as the written word. Having been part of three launch teams of three different media startups in her lifetime, she’s intimately familiar with what it takes to get a publication off the ground.

In an apparent move to curb resume fraud, Qatar’s government just rolled out some new requirements for people to prove their higher education credentials, and people are not happy.

Promising to fight the existence of a few fake degrees, the new regulations have, at the same time, made it significantly more difficult for qualified graduates to find work or change jobs in the country.

Graduates of foreign universities are now required to obtain a letter from their institutions confirming specific details about their courses before receiving approval for a residence permit.

Additionally, Qatar will no longer allow companies to hire graduates who have studied for all or part of their degrees online. The stipulations are in addition to existing rules that require expats to have degrees and transcripts attested by their own government and the Qatar embassy in their home countries.

The new restrictions were implemented in June this year, but reportedly, without warning or publicity.

New requirements

Many people said they have been struggling with the process, including clients of Venture Partner Qatar, a company that helps investors set up businesses in the country, Doha News reported.

The firm’s General Manager, Dale Ashford told the local news site that the government began rejecting job applicants’ degree certificates when the new rules took effect a few months ago.

There was no grace period after the government issued a circular on June 1, he added.

According to Ashford, obtaining a letter from one’s alma mater will be tricky for many, particularly if they left college some time ago.

“There are many questions concerning the ‘statement’ on behalf of the University/Institution, not least, who will prepare it. This is something entirely new for them and will entail a considerable amount of work. Presumably, some form of charge will have to be levied for this.

There will also be other issues, depending on the age of the applicant, such as universities closing or merging and so forth.”

Expats already in Qatar would most likely have to pay agencies to help them complete the attestation process in their home countries “at quite a cost,” he added.

Additionally, he said the new ban on distance learning degrees will cause significant problems for many job applicants, particularly Master’s students, who often study online.