Expert Info

Posted by
on 15 Sep 2015
Hello , I'm wanting to visit my fiancé who currently works in Doha and take our 11 month old son to visit him, we are all from the uk, he has a work visa. He has his own apartment that is part of an apartment type complex , mainly housing expats or other European workers.i would like to visit him for around three weeks with our baby and stay together in his apartment, however as we are not yet married and have a son out of 'wedlock' I'm unsure as to what legal standing I have or if it will even be an issue- we have been together for 12 years so in the UK I am classed as his common law wife . He has assured me that I will be fine to stay with him, as he knows other collegues who have had there girlfriends go over. However, as I will be taking our young son, I'm reluctant to risk it. If we have to get married sooner then so be it! no judgemental answers please
Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015
It is surely a problem for the Qataris , they follow strict sha'ria law
Claire on 23 Sep 2015
Hi brsmith.

Anonymous is correct - men and women cannot live together unless they are married. Indeed, it is illegal for unmarried couples to even share a room in a hotel and Qatari officials are within their rights to ask for proof of marriage - you'll have to show them a marriage certificate. If you're caught, the punishments can be very harsh.

That said, officials may not necessarily do checks on expat compounds. Still, to be safe you could investigate staying with a female friend or in a hotel room of your own. If you plan on moving to Qatar or you want to visit frequently, it might be worth moving your wedding plans forward to make it official in the eyes of the law.

Perhaps someone else who has been in that situation can share their experiences - any expats in a similar spot?

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