Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways have made headlines following the news of Qatar granting visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately.
Citizens of the countries under the visa-free policy 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.
The development closely follows the launch of Qatar’s e-visa platform through which travellers of all nationalities can apply for tourist and visitor visas efficiently and seamlessly.
The country is also contemplating further alterations to its visa policy, such as waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or a valid visa from GCC nations.
Chief tourism operator, QTA, Hassan Al Ibrahim stated: “Easing entry to Qatar is a key enabler for the growth of Qatar’s tourism industry. With this announcement, we are already turning the pages of the next chapter of Qatar’s journey towards 2030.
“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. There is no doubt that facilitating and streamlining access at all ports of entry are key factors in creating a positive first and lasting impression of Qatar,” he added.
A total of 33 countries included in the new visa waiver policy will not require prior visa arrangements and will be able to obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. These include: Austria; Bahamas; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta, Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Seychelles; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; and Turkey.
Meanwhile, the remaining 47 countries will be able to obtain a waiver valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and will be entitled to spend up to 30 days in Qatar. They will be eligible for a further extension of 30 days if required. These include: Andorra; Argentina; Australia; Belarus; Bolivia; Brazil; Brunei; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Ecuador; Panama; Costa Rica; Georgia; Guyana; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Ireland; Japan; Kazakhstan; Lebanon; Azerbaijan; Macedonia; Malaysia; Maldives; Mexico; Moldova; Monaco; New Zealand; Paraguay; Peru; Russia; San Marino; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Suriname; Cuba; Thailand; Ukraine; UK; US; Uruguay; Vatican City; and Venezuela.