Qatar waives entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways have announced that Qatar now allows visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately.
Upon presentation of a passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket, citizens of certain countries will be issued a multi-entry waiver free-of-charge at the port of entry. Citizens of these countries wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa.
There are two types of waivers applicable, depending on the nationality of the visitor.
Nationals of 33 countries (not including India) do not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. The waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips.
Nationals of the remaining 47 countries, including India, do not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. The waiver is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. This waiver may be extended for a further 30 days.
Qatar is also considering further enhancements to its visa policy, such as waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or a valid visa from the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the Schengen countries. This waiver would allow eligible visitors to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation by completing a simple online application at least 48 hours prior to travel.
“Today’s announcement places the State of Qatar as the most open country in the region. This is a momentous occasion for Qatar, making the number of nationalities eligible to enter our country without a visa, the highest in region, which is something that we are very proud of. This important initiative from the Ministry of Interior and Qatar Tourism Authority will provide an opportunity to welcome even more visitors, from even more countries, to experience the many exciting attractions that await them,”says His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, group chief executive of Qatar Airways.
“Easing entry to Qatar is a key enabler for the growth of Qatar’s tourism industry. With this announcement we are already turning the pages of the Next Chapter of Qatar’s journey towards 2030. Together with our partners in the public and private sectors, we have examined all of the elements needed to create a smooth and enticing experience that can attract visitors from around the world. With 80 countries eligible for a visa waiver, Qatar is now the most open country in the region and we are delighted to invite visitors to discover our renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures,” says Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA.
In November last year, Qatar introduced a free transit visa, which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting through Qatar a minimum of five hours to 96 hours stay in the country. In May this year, QTA launched +Qatar with Qatar Airways, a campaign to promote the country as a stopover destination. These strategies have resulted in a 39 per cent increase in the number of stopover visitors during the first six months of this year, compared to the same period last year.
(Entry to Qatar is approved at the sole discretion of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.) visitqatar.qa; qatarairways.com