Visa waiver announcement
Source: Photograph ©2017 by Qatar Airways.

Qatar Waives Visa Entry Requirements Effective Immediately for Citizens of 80 Countries

Visa requirements for entry into the country of Qatar have been waived for the citizens of 80 different countries effective immediately — meaning that if you are a citizen of one of those countries, you will no longer be required to apply for a visa nor pay for it in order to visit Qatar.

Instead of applying for a visa and paying for it, 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
  • Confirmed onward or return ticket

Qatar Waives Visa Entry Requirements Effective Immediately for Citizens of 80 Countries

“These developments come as part of a series of measures that Qatar has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country”, according to this official press release from Qatar Airways. “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.”

Nationals of 80 countries will not require prior visa arrangements; and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar.

For the following 33 countries, 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

For the following 47 countries, 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

Strategy and Growth of the National Tourism Sector

“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,” according to Hassan Al Ibrahim, who is the chief tourism development officer of the Qatar Tourism Authority and believes that visa facilitation is a critical component of the strategy and growth of the national tourism sector. “With 80 countries eligible for a visa waiver, 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.”

Qatar introduced a free transit visa in November of 2016 which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting in Qatar for a minimum of five hours to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours or four days. In May of 2017, the Qatar Tourism Authority launched +Qatar, which is an initiative to promote the country as a stopover destination with Qatar Airways. These measures — along with intensified international marketing — have purportedly resulted in an increase of 39 percent in the number of stopover visitors during the first six months of 2017, as compared with the same period in 2016.


I have long asserted that if a country wants to increase tourism, it needs to relax its reciprocity fees or visa requirements — and Qatar is doing just that in what seems to be an effort to increase tourism. Chile did it — as well as Argentina and Belarus as three examples. Let visitors and tourists spend that money on local businesses within the country instead — the government will still collect taxes through the businesses.

Do not forget that as a passenger of Qatar Airways whose final destination is other than Doha — which is the capital city of Qatar, as well as where the airline is based — you have the opportunity to enjoy a complimentary stay at one of the many international hotel properties in Doha through Saturday, September 30, 2017.

As a result of this initiative which is designed to be friendlier to tourists and visitors, Qatar has moved up on my list of places to visit — and I do not count the hour each way I spent aboard an airplane operated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines during a stopover at Hamad International Airport in Doha between Amsterdam and Muscat.

Source: Photograph ©2017 by Qatar Airways.


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