Qatar waives entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries

Qatar waives entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries

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Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways today announced that Qatar will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately.

Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.

Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, from the date of issue, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry waiver); or it will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days (multiple-entry waiver).

These developments come as part of a series of measures that Qatar has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country. Last month, Qatar launched an e-visa platform, www.qatarvisaservice.com, through which travellers of all nationalities can apply for tourist and visitor visas with more efficiency and ease. The country 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.

According to Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development officer at QTA, visa facilitation is a critical component of the national tourism sector strategy, which QTA is currently reviewing in partnership with stakeholders from the public and private sectors. With renewed focus by the country’s leadership on diversifying the national economy, a revised strategy which empowers various players to boost the growth of tourism is set to be launched on 27 September 2017, when Qatar hosts the official celebrations of World Tourism Day.

In November 2016, Qatar introduced a free transit visa, which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting in Qatar for a minimum of five hours to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days). In May 2017, QTA launched +Qatar, an initiative to promote the country as a stopover destination, with the national carrier, Qatar Airways. These measures, along with intensified international marketing, have resulted in a 39 per cent increase in the number of stopover visitors during the first six months of 2017, compared with the same period last year.

As part of Qatar Airways’ and QTA’s combined efforts to boost tourism in the country, the award-winning airline has accelerated its global expansion plans, and recently announced the launch of a number of new destinations that it is adding to its network by the end of August including Kiev, Ukraine and Prague, Czech Republic. Yesterday, the airline launched Sohar, in the Sultanate of Oman. Qatar Airways also recently launched a direct service to Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Nice, France and Skopje, connecting even more people to more places, and making it easier than ever for passengers to visit Qatar as part of their journey.

The below section details the new visa waiver eligibility for citizens of the 80 countries.

Entry to Qatar is approved at the sole discretion of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.

A) Nationals of the following 33 countries will 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 entitle its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips.

1.   Austria

2.  Bahamas

3.  Belgium

4.  Bulgaria

5.  Croatia

6.  Cyprus

7.  Czech Republic

8. Denmark

9.  Estonia

10.  Finland

11.   France

12.  Germany

13.  Greece

14.  Hungary

15.   Iceland

16.  Italy

17.   Latvia

18.  Liechtenstein

19.  Lithuania

20. Luxembourg

21.  Malta

22. Netherlands

23. Norway

24. Poland

25.  Portugal

26. Romania

27.  Seychelles

28.  Slovakia

29.  Slovenia

30.  Spain

31.   Sweden

32.  Switzerland

33.  Turkey

B) Nationals of the following 47 countries will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. The waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitle 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.

1.     Andorra

2.    Argentina

3.    Australia

4.    Belarus

5.    Bolivia

6.   Brazil

7.    Brunei

8.   Canada

9.   Chile

10.  China

11.   Colombia

12.  Ecuador

13.  Panama

14.  Costa Rica

15.   Georgia

16.  Guyana

17.   Hong Kong

18.  India

19.  Indonesia

20. Ireland

21.  Japan

22. Kazakhstan

23. Lebanon 

24. Azerbaijan  

25.  Macedonia

26. Malaysia

27.  Maldives

28. Mexico

29. Moldova

30. Monaco

31.  New Zealand

32. Paraguay

33. Peru

34. Russia

35.  San Marino

36. Singapore

37.  South Africa

38. South Korea

39. Suriname

40. Cuba

41.  Thailand

42. Ukraine

43. United Kingdom

44. United States

45.  Uruguay

46. Vatican City

47.  Venezuela