How to get visa-free entry to Qatar? Here’s what you need to know

How to get visa-free entry to Qatar? Here’s what you need to know

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

It’s 2023, and if you still haven’t visited Qatar, you are missing out! Ever since the World Cup, Qatar has gained an international appreciation for its beautiful fusion of modernity and tradition, making it an upcoming tourism hotspot in the GCC. 

Visitors to Qatar gain entry easily if they are GCC nationals or nationals of over 90 listed countries who can enter without a pre-approved visa.

Eligibility

Out of the eligible 90+ countries, nearly 40 nationalities are eligible for a 180-day waiver from the date of issue, with a visa allowing them to stay for a period of up to 90 days in Qatar. This can be used in a single trip or across multiple trips within the waiver period.

More than 50 other nationalities are eligible for a 30-day waiver from the date of issue and the visa allows them to stay for a period of up to 30 days in Qatar. 

You can check your eligibility for a visa-on-arrival here.

 

Conditions to fulfil:

Nationals of countries eligible for visa on arrival can simply enter Qatar, provided they meet these conditions:

  1. They must hold a passport with a validity of a minimum of six months.
  2. Visitors must also have a confirmed valid return or onward ticket.
  3. A hotel booking for the duration of the stay must be booked by visitors. Nationals of India, Pakistan, and Iran must book their hotel stay through the Discover Qatar portal.
  4. Visitors from Pakistan have the additional condition of presenting a polio vaccination certificate upon arrival. They are even required to possess a valid international credit card.

Passengers can simply proceed to the immigration counter at Hamad International Airport and get a stamped visa on arrival to enter the country.

Note: *Visa issuance on arrival relies on the sole discretion of the immigration department from the Ministry of Interior. Read more here.

**all these details are with respect to the reinstation of visa on arrival to Qatar as announced on December 23, 2022.

Visa charges and extensions

The visa on arrival to the State of Qatar is free of cost for issue and extension.

Visitors of nationalities with the 30-day waiver period can also extend their visa on arrival for an additional 30 days by applying online at the Ministry of Interiors site. The price for an extension is QAR 100 for the additional 30 days. The visa cannot be extended beyond that.

There is no prior booking or application for visa-on-arrival as of January 2023.

In case the visitor overstays the period of stay granted by the visa on arrival, a penalty fee of QAR 200 per day is levied, which has to be paid before exiting the country. 

Passengers with a layover in Qatar’s airport

Even transiting passengers can gain entry to Qatar through a visa on arrival.  However, if they do not wish to leave the airport, such a visa is not required.

SIM Cards

It is recommended to get a SIM card to better access the Internet and make local phone calls once you enter Qatar. The Qatar Duty Free (QDF) which is right after immigration has kiosks where passengers can buy an Ooredoo or Vodafone SIM card at a nominal cost. They only have to show their passport and personal details for verification. SIM cards are also available at authorised Ooredoo/Vodafone centres and kiosks around the city.

Exiting the airport

Upon arrival and entry to Qatar, passengers can exit the airport and reach the city via Doha Metro or through any cab service including Uber, Careem, and Karwa.

The cab services can be availed at the designated pick-up points outside the airport.

The Doha Metro Red Line has a station at the Hamad International Airport and you can easily access the city’s main locations via the metro. Metro trains run from 6 am to 10 pm on Saturday to Wednesday, and until 11:59 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, with train arrivals averaging every few minutes or so.

Explore Qatar

Once you enter Qatar, make the most of your time and visit some of the best attractions the city has to offer. Check out this list of places to visit in Qatar as a first-time visitor or transiting passenger.

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