Following recent changes introduced by the Qatar government to facilitate greater access to the country, the nationals of 80 countries will now no longer need to apply or pay for a visa upon arrival into Qatar. Instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free of charge upon the presentation by the visiting national of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
Hassan Al-Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at the Qatar Tourism Authority notes that: "The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar, the most open country in the region".
The 80 countries are divided into two groups. The first group consists of 33 countries whose nationals are eligible for a visa waiver that is 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 multiple trips. These include:
The second group consists of 47 countries whose nationals are eligible for a visa waiver that 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 visa waiver may be extended for a further 30 days. These include:
The nationals from outside the 80 countries listed above must continue to either arrange for a tourist visa through a Qatar based hotel where they must remain during their stay in Qatar, or their Qatar based family members may arrange for a visit visa through the Qatari Embassy responsible for their relevant jurisdiction. Individuals travelling for work or business must ensure that they have the correct visa before travelling to the country. For the avoidance of doubt, the on arrival visa waiver program does not entitle an individual to work in Qatar.
Whilst it has been widely announced that the on arrival visa waiver program has already taken effect, the actual effective date of the program for certain countries may vary. We would advise that enquiries be made within the appropriate Embassy or diplomatic mission of the country in question prior to making any travel arrangements.
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