In a landmark decision to encourage tourism and revive hospitality sector, Qatar has announced that it will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, with immediate effect.
The countries include the UK, the USA, Canada, India, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand, the officials announced on Wednesday.
No need to apply for visa
Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will not 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.
“Citizens of these 80 countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa,” Qatari officials announced in a press release.
Multiple-entry waiver free of charge
“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,” the release added.
Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry); or it will be valid for 30 days and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar (multiple-entry) with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days.
List of countries with visa-free entry to Qatar
Nationals of the 33 countries listed below 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 entitle its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips.
- Czech Republic
Nationals of the 47 countries listed below do 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.
- Costa Rica
- Hong Kong
- India (Not extendable beyond 30 days)
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
The most open country in the region
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority said: “With 80 nationalities eligible for a free visa waiver upon arrival, 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.”
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.
In May 2017, QTA and Qatar Airways launched +Qatar, a package which includes a free night’s stay in a 5 or 4 star hotel in Doha, alongside a complimentary transit visa.
Published on 9 August 2017, Updated 7 November 2018 Sources: QatarVIsa.qa , The Peninsula Qatar , Gult Times , Reuters