TravelNewsAsia.com
Thu, 10 Aug 2017

Qatar Waives Entry Visa Requirements for Citizens of 80 Countries

Qatars Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways have 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).

Atrium lounge at the Sheraton Doha, one of the most popular and established hotels in Qatar

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, 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.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said, Todays 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. Qatar Airways is the patriotic flag carrier for the State of Qatar and as such we are extremely honoured to bring millions of people each year to our beautiful, welcoming and historic country. 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.

 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

 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

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). This, along with intensified international marketing, has resulted in a 39% increase in the number of stopover visitors during the first six months of 2017, compared with the same period last year.

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