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Qatar Launches Electronic Travel Authorisation System

Qatar is to make Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) available to visitors of all nationalities who hold valid residence permits or visas from either the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Schengen countries, or the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The new system, which will take effect on 27 September 2017, will allow eligible visitors to obtain an ETA by completing a simple online application prior to travel.

As part of the application, applicants will be required to provide proof of accommodation (e.g. hotel booking), details of their return (or onward) travel, a copy of their passport with a minimum validity of six months, and a copy of their residence permit or visa to the aforementioned countries, with a minimum validity of 30 days.

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

Once the applicant’s request has been approved they will receive an ETA that is valid for use within 30 days. The ETA’s validity for use may be renewed for a further 30 days on the same website.

The ETA allows travelers to obtain a visa-on-arrival to Qatar, which will permit them to stay in the country for up to 30 days during a single visit. The visa may be extended online for 30 additional days to be used during the same visit. If the visitor leaves the country and wishes to return, they will need to apply for a new ETA before travelling back to Qatar.

Brigadier Mohammed Al Ateeq, Director General of the Department of Passport and Expatriates Affairs at MoI, said, “We are continuously reviewing Qatar’s visa policies and seek to update them in line with Qatar’s economic and social aspirations. We look forward to hosting visitors from around the world through this system, which will further streamline the visa application process. Visitors who are not eligible for an ETA are also welcome to apply for a regular tourist visa through the same e-visa platform.”

This development comes as part of a series of measures that Qatar has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country. Last month, Qatar waived visa requirements for nationals of 80 countries.

“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,” said Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA. “Time and again we found that openness and ease of access are crucial elements. As such we have committed ourselves, over the past few months, to taking as many steps as possible to facilitate entry to Qatar for dozens of nationalities around the world.”

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