Visit Visas are applicable to tourists, who intend to spend more than 14 days in Qatar, and those coming for family visits as well as those on long-term business visit. It requires the sponsorship of a resident in Qatar or any company or hotel licensed to operate within the country.
The Interior Ministry in Qatar offers entry visas of various types, including, visa-on-arrival, visa-in-advance, electronic notification etc., based on the laws and decision. The applicant should possess a valid passport indicating minimum six month duration and a return ticket or onward ticket. Some countries may also require hotel reservation, cash or credit card too.
Visa-free entry to Qatar
Visitors from most countries in the world can now enter Qatar visa-free, or by just filling out an online application, depending on the passport they carry.
Nationals from more than 80 countries are allowed visa-free entry into Qatar, permitting varying stay duration. Nationals of these countries do not require a prior visa when visiting Qatar, and can obtain a visa waiver on arrival to Qatar, upon presenting a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
Therefore, if you belong to the list of countries that are permitted visa-free entry, it means you do not have to make visa arrangement prior to your trip to Qatar, and you would be eligible for a visa waiver (a definite length of stay in the country without visa) upon arrival, free of charge.
Eligibility for visa-free entry on arrival in Qatar
Here’s the list of countries that are granted visa-free entry. Nationals from these countries are eligible for visa-free entry upon arrival in Qatar. In most cases, applying for a visa is easy and can be done online through Hukoomi portal or the Ministry of Interiry (MOI) website.
VoA service has now been resumed, after it was suspended in 2020 at the start of Covid-19. At present, nationals of over 90 countries are eligible for Free QatarVoA.
As per the latest rules, only eligible travellers who have taken the vaccines approved by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health will be extended visa waivers upon arrival.
They should also meet other conditions for eligibility of VoA, such as citizenship, 6 months valid passport, hotel booking, return air tickets, credit/debit cards etc. They should also obtain pre-travel approval by applying on the Ehteraz website.
Meanwhile, GCC nationals, GCC residents, EU nationals and residents who meet the immunity criteria as per Covid health apps shall be honoured and accepted in Qatar, and shall be exempted from online registration.
Countries that have a visa on arrival arrangement with Qatar
The latest rule says that Indians, Pakistani and Iranian nationals headed to Qatar seeking Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) will have to pre-book hotel stay for their entire duration. The booking will be valid only if they are made through Discover Qatar. This is applicable only to VoA seekers, who already have family/friends in Qatar, and wish to stay with them. This is not applicable to family visit visas.
VoA is valid for 30 days from date of issuance on single trip or multiple trips. This can be further extended for a period of 30 days.
Further rules that are applicable include:
- Passport should have at least 6 months validity
- A confirmed return ticket
- Passenger entering Qatar should carry minimum cash of USD1400 or valid credit card.
- Should be fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by Health Ministry in Qatar, and should have completed a period of 14 days after the last dose.
- Should have a certificate that confirms negative PCR test completed with 48 hours from the time of arrival in Qatar.
List of countries for 180-day (6 months) validity
If you are a national of any of the countries listed below, your visa waiver will have a validity of 180 days from the date of issuance, and the holder can spend upto 90 days in Qatar in a single trip, or on multiple trips.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
List of countries for 30-day validity
For nationals belonging to the below-listed countries, the visa waiver would be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and the holder is entitled to stay for upto 30 days in Qatar during a single trip or on multiple trips. The waiver can be extended for another 30days.
- Costa Rica
- Falkland Islands
- French Guiana
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
Visas are not required for nationals of UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia and residents of GCC or Arab States who hold prestigious positions including medical doctors, businessmen, engineers and people in such other authorized professions.
Confirm with your airline if you are valid for the visa on arrival, before paying for your airline ticket.
To extend visit visa:
- Go to Visit Visa Extension Service page at the MoI website (https://portal.moi.gov.qa/wps/portal/MOIInternet/services/inquiries/visaservices/visitvisaextension).
- Enter the visa number or passport number
- Choose the nationality from the drop-down list
- Enter the verification code from the picture or the audio
- Click on “extend” button.
The visa can then be renewed for another 30 days. However, ensure that you renew it before the expiry of the visa to avoid complications.
Qatar VoA for GCC residents
GCC residents, who hold positions in approved professions and those accompanying them, can obtain a GCC Resident Visit Visa on arrival in Qatar.
If you are a resident of GCC, you are eligible for a single-entry VoA. The visa will be issued if your Residence Permit is valid for atleast six months, and if your profession (as mentioned in your permit) falls into the list of eligible professions.
To view the list of eligible professions, visit the Ministry of Interior website.
Family Visit Visa
Families of sponsored residents may enter Qatar on a short-term Family Visit Visa.
When applying for family visit visa for immediate family members (spouse and children), the following documents are necessary:
- Copy of applicant’s Qatar ID
- Copy of visitor’s passport
- Proof of Relation (birth certificate for children, notarized marriage certificate for wife).
- Work contract
- No Objection letter rom employer citing profession and salary
- Photocopy of company card
- Round trip flight tickets
- Health insurance
- Minimum salary requirement of QR5000 (USD 1373).
For newborns, necessary documents include:
- Original passport of the child
- Original birth certificate
- Copy of Residence Permit for applicant and mother’s visa
Family Visa Validity
The visa holds one month validity. However, the validity can be extended for a period of two months for family members, making the total duration of stay as three months.
- Visit the office of Ministry of Immigration (MoI) or MoI Service Centre and submit your passport and return ticket.
- Pay a fee of QR200 as renewal fee for visit visa for every additional month, with QR
- For online process, extend your visa from Interior Ministry website page https://portal.moi.gov.qa/wps/portal/MOIInternet/services/inquiries/visaservices/visitvisaextension.
When applying for visit visa for other relatives (please note that only married expats can apply for family visit visa to sponsor other relatives), the following documents are necessary:
- Copy of Qatar ID of the applicant
- Copy of visitor’s Passport
- Copy of wife’s Qatar ID (if she is a resident)
- Proof of relationship (Passport, Birth certificate)
- NOC from employer mentioning profession and salary
- Photocopy of the Company Card
- Round trip flight tickets
- Health Insurance
- Minimum salary requirement for applying for a family visit visa for relatives is QR10,000 (USD2746)
Visa Application Process
Expatriates visiting Doha are required to have a passport and a visa. Therefore, if planning a visit to Doha, begin the visa application process atleast a month in advance to your trip.
General online procedure for family visit visa:
- Download and register on Metrash2 application on your mobile phone.
- Login to your account, and go to visa icon, choose ‘family visit application’ from the menu.
- Fill up the necessary personal details, and choose the “I agree on validity of data” option and proceed.
- Upload the visitor documents including Birth Certificate, Passport Copy etc.
- Confirm the final step of the process.
- The applicant will receive an application number, and once the application gets approved in a few days’ time, proceed with fee payment.
- Pay the fees for visa online after the application is approved and verified.
- Once the payment is completed, download the visa copy from Interior Ministry website and send it to the visitor.
General offline procedure for family visit visa
- Download and fill the application form at https://portal.moi.gov.qa/wps/wcm/connect/053b9185-c487-4510-aa0e-e8fd32363d0a/%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A8+%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A9+%D8%AF%D8%AE%D9%88%D9%84+-+%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
- Fill up the form and submit it to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) service centre, along with necessary documents.
- The person at the counter will either accept the form, or may want you to meet the officer for final approval.
- The officer in-charge may conduct an interview questioning the purpose of your visit, and your relationship with the sponsor. If the officer is satisfied with your answer, you will be given a receipt, containing tracking number, and you can check your visa status online thereafter at https://portal.moi.gov.qa/wps/portal/MOIInternet/services/inquiries/visaservices/visaapprovaltracking.
- Once approved, visit the MOI centre once again and submit your receipt.
- Pay the visa fee at the centre
- A printout copy of your family visit visa will be handed over to you after paying the fee. The visa can also be downloaded from the Interior Ministry website.
- You can now book the tickets for your visitors.
The visa fee is QR200 per visa, apart from QR50 for each registered dependent or companion. The visa is extended against same fee with overstay fine of QR200 applicable per day.
Nationals of more than 80 approved countries can obtain Tourist Visa upon arrival. This visa can also be issued online prior to travel.
The general types of tourist visas are:
- Tourist visa through employer, wherein hotels, embassies and other authorized employers can arrange visas for nationals of the approved countries before they arrive in Qatar.
- Tourist visa through airline or hotels, wherein, the visa is granted to visitors of approved countries through authorized hotels operating in Qatar, or sponsoring residents with relationship to applicants through Qatar Airways. This is valid for one month and cannot be renewed.
- The third type is a Joint Tourist Visa that allows visitors to travel freely between Qatar and Oman. This is a one-month visa that is issued on arrival or online before arrival, and can be extended for another month. The fee for extension is QR100.
Although the requirement of documents may change as per the nationality of the applicant, some of the common documents required for a tourist visa to Qatar are:
- Original passport with 6 months validity ahead of date of travel
- Coloured photos as per the specifications
- Confirmed return tickets
- Proof of Income Tax Returns
- Proof of accommodation (invitation letter, hotel reservation etc)
- Purpose of visit (sponsor letter, exhibition or conference pass etc)
- Prood of identification and nationality
Passengers transiting in Qatar for a minimum of 5 hours are eligible to apply for Qatar Transit Visa. This is free of charge, and is valid for four days (96 hours), and is open to passengers of all nationalities.
However, to obtain a transit visa, a clear passport copy with a minimum of six months at the time of entry into Qatar.
The visitor should also have confirmed tickets for a journey into Qatar and the onward journey out of Qatar. The flights should be operated by Qatar Airways.
It is necessary that the visitor holds a copy of approved transit visa at the time of boarding and upon arrival in Qatar.
All residents, except women and children sponsored by their father or husband, will require an exit visa before leaving Qatar. Exit permits are usually arranged by sponsors.
Authorized users can complete the procedure of exit visa online by logging on to http://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal/topics or in person by going to MOI Passports and Airport Security Department. Else, there are immigration offices in Hamad Medical Corporation, Al Dayin, Al Khor, Al Shahaniya, Mesaimeer, Q-Post, Doha Industrial Area, Souq Waqif, Al Wakrah, Al Shamal, Dukhan, and Umm Salal.
Exit permits can be either single or multiple. For online applications, select the exit permit type, and fill in all required fields including the applicant ID and passport numbers and pay requisite fee.
In the year 2020, Qatar made a series of reforms to its employment regulations eversince it was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar has scrapped the mandatory exit permits otherwise required for migrant domestic staff and other groups, as part of its efforts to boost rights for guest workers. Earlier, all foreigners working in Qatar had to obtain authorization from bosses to leave, but now only military people will routinely require such a dispensation.
Qatar has also done away with exit visa requirements for foreign workers including oil and gas workers, civil servants and employees of government bodies including Qatar Airways.
Currently, a domestic worker can enter and exit the country without having to submit their employer’s permission.
It is now possible for nationals and residents to purchase an e-gate card prior to going on vacation. This can help avoid normal immigration hassles. The e-gate card can be inserted at the e-gate and you can place your finger on a biometric scanner. These cards can be obtained at the airport immigration office, located opposite the airport. However, make sure that you carry your ID card with you. The use of e-gate is free. There is no need to pre-register before you use the e-gate. It can be used when arriving or departing from Qatar. ID card holders over the age of 18 can use this.
Kindly note: Visa rules are subject to sudden change without warning. Kindly contact the embassy in your country or the relevant authority in Qatar, as that is the only source of information that can be relied upon. The validity period of a free visit visa on arrival is also subjected to change often.;