Entering Qatar from Red-list country

By zamaahm

Hi all. I am currently in the process of relocating to Qatar from the UK to work for a government company. My work permit is ready and so I am now able to enter Qatar to complete the process and get my QID. My question is regarding taking my wife and 2 children with me. As per current guidelines on MPH website for Group B individuals, children under 11 years cannot enter Qatar from a Red list country (which UK is), even if both parents are fully vaccinated.

https://covid19.moph.gov.qa/EN/travel-and-return-policy/Pages/default.aspx

So, is anyone aware of any solution that would work that can allow for us to travel together as a family to Qatar? For example, can we go to a green list country (e.g. Germany) and then enter Qatar from Germany? If so, do we need to spend a minimum number of days in Germany? Or any other solution that anyone knows would be very helpful. Thanks in advance

COVID-19 Banner
By Ace n K• 1 month 3 weeks ago.
Ace n K

Hi Zamaahm,

Tbh I'm still confused about the various types of visas available for spouse/dependents. Tourist Visa (eg: visa upon arrival), Family Visit Visa, and Family Entry Visa. I'm not sure if Family 'Entry' and 'Visit' visas are different names for the same thing.

Anyway, my understanding simply put is that you can enter any time on a Visa upon arrival whereas with the family visa you need to the QID first. In terms of covid i believe both fall into category B.

For Family visit visas, applications were accepted from 12 July but the Eid holidays followed soon after and in practice applications only started getting processed by the authorities from 26 July. Traditionally the approval process took 3 days but rumours on FB say it would now take 2 weeks. So as of now there are no known cases of anyone actually getting this visa yet.

For visas upon arrival, I am not sure if tourists are being allowed to pass the borders yet. My HR is in touch with a travel agency and they are not aware of any tourists entering Qatar yet. (How frustrating!) If this is true I have no idea how they are even stopping tourists from boarding the plane; it'll be chaos at Doha airport. These are all rumours so I really cannot validate any of this but since I am not certain I have told my wife to stay put for another 4-5 more weeks before we make any travel arrangements.

Do you already have a work permit pre-approval? If you do your company should give you a 1page pdf with your visa number on it. You will enter using that so you will not be a 'Tourist' like your family if you decide to travel together.

As for Ehteraz, if you upload all the documents correctly you should get an approval almost immediately. If you don't it most likely means there's something wrong. I didn't need to upload my hotel reservation because I had my visa number, but I understand for tourists you need to have hotel booked pre-travel. The Ehteraz is really good because it'll clearly state if you're exempt from hotel quarantine. (My biggest fear was arriving at the airport at 1am and then being locked up in an expensive hotel!)

For your flight day I recommend you print out all documents. For the vax cert I even requested a genuine hardcopy from NHS which you can get free on the .Gov.uk website. It just makes it a lot easier for the airport staff too to have paper rather than passing mobile phones around.

Fingers crossed situation would clear up soon!

By Ace n K• 1 month 3 weeks ago.
Ace n K

Hi Zamaahm,

Tbh I'm still confused about the various types of visas available for spouse/dependents. Tourist Visa (eg: visa upon arrival), Family Visit Visa, and Family Entry Visa. I'm not sure if Family 'Entry' and 'Visit' visas are different names for the same thing.

Anyway, my understanding simply put is that you can enter any time on a Visa upon arrival whereas with the family visa you need to the QID first. In terms of covid i believe both fall into category B.

For Family visit visas, applications were accepted from 12 July but the Eid holidays followed soon after and in practice applications only started getting processed by the authorities from 26 July. Traditionally the approval process took 3 days but rumours on FB say it would now take 2 weeks. So as of now there are no known cases of anyone actually getting this visa yet.

For visas upon arrival, I am not sure if tourists are being allowed to pass the borders yet. My HR is in touch with a travel agency and they are not aware of any tourists entering Qatar yet. (How frustrating!) If this is true I have no idea how they are even stopping tourists from boarding the plane; it'll be chaos at Doha airport. These are all rumours so I really cannot validate any of this but since I am not certain I have told my wife to stay put for another 4-5 more weeks before we make any travel arrangements.

Do you already have a work permit pre-approval? If you do your company should give you a 1page pdf with your visa number on it. You will enter using that so you will not be a 'Tourist' like your family if you decide to travel together.

As for Ehteraz, if you upload all the documents correctly you should get an approval almost immediately. If you don't it most likely means there's something wrong. I didn't need to upload my hotel reservation because I had my visa number, but I understand for tourists you need to have hotel booked pre-travel. The Ehteraz is really good because it'll clearly state if you're exempt from hotel quarantine. (My biggest fear was arriving at the airport at 1am and then being locked up in an expensive hotel!)

For your flight day I recommend you print out all documents. For the vax cert I even requested a genuine hardcopy from NHS which you can get free on the .Gov.uk website. It just makes it a lot easier for the airport staff too to have paper rather than passing mobile phones around.

Fingers crossed situation would clear up soon!

By Ace n K• 1 month 3 weeks ago.
Ace n K

Hi again Zamaahm,

Tbh I'm still confused about the names of the various temp visas available to spouses

By zamaahm• 1 month 4 weeks ago.
zamaahm

Hi @Ace n K, thanks for coming back to me, much appreciated. My HR haven't been as helpful as I would have liked (i'm basically having to dig all this out myself!) so i'm glad we have been able to share experiences here. Regarding extending visas for your family once they arrive, I found this link which might be helpful and could address your particular concern:

https://www.dohaguides.com/family-visa-in-qatar-requirements-documents/

Unfortunately it's not from any official source, but the content seems to check out with a couple of friends in Qatar who I spoke with regarding this.

Please do let me know how your RP processing goes - from what i've been told, things apparently move faster once you are on the ground so would be keen to hear how long it takes you to get the QID - fingers crossed for you!

As for me, i'm going to push my company to get us to travel together from UK -> Germany -> Qatar, with a 10-day stopover in Germany. Would you happen to know if we need to have hotel bookings for my family arranged and uploaded on Ehteraz (as presumably we all will fall under tourists)? Or will just a negative PCR + Vaccination certificates suffice?

thanks again!

By Ace n K• 2 months 4 hours ago.
Ace n K

Hi @zamaahm. I don’t have much of a reason why I didn’t travel with my family tbh. It’s just that I had my flight booked before the 12 July announcement where they started opening borders to tourists, and I didn’t want to delay my work start date, which I had already delayed once before, and risk losing my job offer. We also didn’t want to rush flying the family and get in some kind of a pickle later on, so my wife stayed behind until we had a sure plan on her route to Qatar. Now that I’m in the country I can liaise with the HR better and also start my RP process.

I spoke to my HR today and she explained that she is not aware of any tourists actually entering the country yet. Eid holidays have just finished and I think only today things are starting to kick off again so I think we need to wait a few more days to get updates.

On another note, I was looking through the VisitQatar.qa website and the requirements for tourist visa upon arrival is that you have a return/onward ticket when you enter, so I don’t know what would happen to the family after 30 days if you cannot extend the visa from within the country. Pre-covid it was easy to do a visa run to a nearby country but it feels risky now. I honestly have no idea what we could do now - so lost! And hence me joining your thread!

I am guessing the fall back option is to wait for my RP and then apply for a Family Visit Visa which is valid 30 days with an option to extend (for how long I haven’t a clue!) and the question on medical insurance still remains. There really is a chance the family might be separated for 6+ months until the family RP can be obtained?! I don’t know how people used to do it pre-covid.

In a way there isn’t much point panicking as rules change all the time and maybe soon rules would be relaxed further. I think this is why I took that leap of faith to come here first, we just wait and see how things go!

By zamaahm• 2 months 1 day ago.
zamaahm

Hi @Ace n K. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and wishing you the best with your move! It seems like this 'stopover 10day route via a green list country' is viable, from what you have said and also what @immi.700 posted as well, so at least it seems like there is way into Qatar from the UK for the family. May I ask why you chose to travel alone first, with your family to follow you soon, rather than all three of you travel together via Germany/France, which would allow you to all enter together in Qatar?

Thank you for your suggestions re: health insurance, I must admit I had not thought of that! The reason why i'm pushing for us all to travel together is that we have already given notice to both of my sons' schools here in the UK as we have accepted offers for the boys to start school in Qatar at the end of August. So the 'work from home' plan you've suggested wouldn't work for us as we'd need to get the boys in Qatar in time to start school (as a sidenote, the school will accept the boys starting without their QID in place). With all this said, I am still waiting to discuss this with my company's HR and see what they say....will keep you posted here. Best of luck!

By Ace n K• 2 months 2 days ago.
Ace n K

Hi @zamaahm, I’m in the exact same situation as you. I just flew in to Doha from Heathrow yesterday leaving my wife and a 1yo behind in the hope that they can follow soon on a tourist visa via 10 day stop over in Germany or France. I think for now that is the only way for them to enter. Once we get our RP/QID, we can then apply for the spouse visas. I understand this process could take about 6 months overall because we need to submit 4 months of local bank statements to prove you can cater for them financially.

What I am concerned about is that my wife and child won’t have a proper health insurance in place while they are ‘tourists’. Qatar being a red list country in the UK, a standard travel insurance purchased in the UK won’t cover them in Qatar. Do bear that in mind too. It’ll be a stressful period full of uncertainty for sure. Do make sure you negotiate alternative plans your employer in case you cannot be reunited with your family. For example, once you get your RP/QID, can you ‘work from home’ in the UK until the spouse visas are obtained? That would reduce the time your family is separated to about 6 weeks. Good luck!

By immi.700• 2 months 2 days ago.
immi.700

@zamaahm, i don't know in well detail.

But last week when i was driving i heard on local radio channel about this.

They said if you want to enter from red list country you can come via any of the green list country and must spend minimum of 2 weeks there.

Just to have double assurity you can ask your company HR.

Log in or register to post comments

More from Qatar Living

Qatar’s electric vehicle strategy currently underway

Qatar’s electric vehicle strategy currently underway

Over 600 charging devices will be installed at bus warehouses and stations, metro stations, and other select locations to support the electric buses used for public transit and during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Tickets go on sale for the Amir Cup Final at Al Thumama Stadium

Tickets go on sale for the Amir Cup Final at Al Thumama Stadium

Qatar 2022 venue to host showpiece match between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd.
WHO Director-General praises Qatar’s efforts to help Afghan people

WHO Director-General praises Qatar’s efforts to help Afghan people

Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, yesterday lauded Qatar’s efforts and cooperation with WHO to support the Afghan people.
How to procure the National Address Certificate via Metrash2

How to procure the National Address Certificate via Metrash2

You can now obtain the National Address Certificate for both individuals and companies via the Ministry of Interior's award-winning Metrash2 app.
WATCH: HH the Amir delivers opening speech during General Debate of the 76th Session of UNGA

WATCH: HH the Amir delivers opening speech during General Debate of the 76th Session of UNGA

The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani delivered a speech at the General Debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York earlier today.
Watch: QL Exclusive: Interview with Athletics Director, Chris Quinn

Watch: QL Exclusive: Interview with Athletics Director, Chris Quinn

Qatar Living speaks to ACS Doha International School Athletics Director, Chris Quinn, who also oversees extracurricular activities in the school, to know more about what he does and why he loves his job.
WATCH:9 things to look forward to at BYH 2021 Expo

WATCH:9 things to look forward to at BYH 2021 Expo

Offering a variety of services in the field of contracting, architecture, and interior design, the exhibition will continue to run until September 22 at the Qatar National Convention Center.

WATCH: How to know if you’re on the right career path

WATCH: How to know if you’re on the right career path

Qatar Living Jobs returns with the fourth episode of its Career Talks series, featuring prominent Qatar-based Life and Executive Coach Faten El Ayache.