IMPORTANT Info for Expats! All Expats Need To Know About Visa Rules in Qatar

Qatar adopts a visa-exemption policy for more than 30 countries, as well as the GCC members, to boost tourism. The current regulations are applicable to GCC residence permit holders.

Business Visas are issued to businessmen who have applied in advance. To obtain a tourist visa, the individual should have traveled into the country by Qatar Airways. Fourteen-day visas are usually given by the Immigration Department at Doha International Airport.

The visas are renewable every three months. A tourist can get a visa on arrival at the entry points in the country or from Qatar’s embassies abroad. The joint-entry visa of Qatar and Oman could be used which permits visits to either country. But, for traveling to a third country, new visas need to be obtained at the point of entry.

The nationals from the following countries are eligible for such joint-visa:- United States of America Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

When applying for a visa:

The Embassy of Qatar does not offer any express or expedited services. There is no additional fee charged for any application.

All passports must be submitted and picked up between 9.30am and 12.30pm (Monday to Thursday).

The completed application form (should be clearly printed) should be accompanies by a non-refundable Application processing fee by money order or company cheque. No cash or personal cheques are accepted. The cheque should favour “Embassy of the State of Qatar”. One payment per application should be followed. Single payment for two or more applications will not be accepted.

The passport submitted by the applicant should be valied for more than six months than the intended duration of stay in Qatar and should have pages to place a visa.

Every application should be accompanied by two color passport size photographs, original passports, two additional photocopies of first few pages of the passport, a company letter (in case of Business Visa), invitation letter (for tourist visa), if an individual applicant, the reason for entry visa request should be specified.

A visa is not required before travel to Qatar, if connecting to other flights by transit.

Types of Visas and requirements

Family Visa

This service permits employees in Qatar to bring in their families from abroad, or renew residence visas of their family members.

Business Visa

On obtaining a business visa, passport holders of certain countries will be granted direct entry visa, without obtaining previous visas at borders of the state. A company or a recognized establishment submits an application to the Immigration Department. The visa has 2-week validity and could be renewed for another 2 weeks.

Businessmen from countries such as the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece , Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea are eligible for the visa.

However, the visa is subject to laws concerning entry and residency of foreigners and resolutions taken in that matter. It is also applicable to current rules for residents of GCC countries, and people arriving and departing on Qatar Airways.

Visas for Family Visits

This visa is issued to family members of those residing in Qatar for a short-term duration of one month. The visa is issued for visiting family member, who are visiting their relative residing in the country. In case the visitor seeks to stay beyond one month in Qatar, the visitor will have to undergo a medical test before the end of one month period. Thereafter, the visa could be renewed for five months for immediate family members (includes father, mother, sister, sons), and two months for other relatives.

Companions of GCC National Visa

The visa is given to drivers and servants of residents in Qatar, as they arrive at Qatari borders from the GCC States, and is valid for a period of one month and renewable for five months. Special conditions include if the beneficiary has a valid residency visa in one of the Gulf Council states, or if she arrives with the sponsor of one of the sponsor family members (wife or sons).

GCC Residents Visit Visa

The visa is given to residents of GCC states who arrive at any of Qatar’s borders on a 14-day stay. It is renewable for another 14 days. Pre-conditions include the beneficiary possessing a valid residency visa in one of the GCC states, or the visitor visiting his relatives who are residents in Qatar.

Multiple Entry Visa

Multiple visas with a validity of more than a year are issued to individuals, companies, and government establishments that have approval from a specialized authority.

Joint Tourist Visa

The visa is issued on arrival at Qatar border for 33 countries, and the beneficiary can enter any country directly and is free to move to another country before expiry of the stay period. The visa with a validity of 21 days could be extended by another one week.

Citizens of 33 countries, including The United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece , Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea are the target audience for such visa.

However, Joint Tourist Visa holders are not permitted to work in Qatar with or without payment.

Official Visa

An official visa is issuing of free visas under the request of ministries and government establishments for a period of one month, which could be extended to five months, following medical tests and fingerprints.

Tourist Visa

Citizens of the following countries, who hold a valid passport, are issued visitor entry visas before arriving at the border. However, the holders of this visa are not allowed to work in Qatar with or without payment. Visas are usually issued in 2 days and remain valid for 14 days, which could be extended by another 14 days.

The countries covered under this visa include The United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece , Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea.

Work Visa

Work visas are issued to private entities, companies, and individual sponsorships, which need to be approved by Ministry of Interior. The fee and collection of visa is taken care of by the sponsor.

Visas for wives and children for more than a year: This visa grants permission for long stays and is applicable to wives and children of residents working in government departments, private companies and civil service employees. The approvals are carried out by the permanent committee for arrivals.

Visa for Newborns

The Newborn visas are for new born babies aged less than 3 months. The visa is issued on their arrival at the Qatar border. Parent will have to produce original birth certificate of the baby. The baby has to have a passport or the name of the baby should be attached to the parents’ passports, the parents should hold a valid residency visa in Qatar, and the mother should be on the child’s father’s sponsorship. No fee is charged for this visa.

Transit Visa

Applicable in special situation, wherein travelers may have to halt in Qatar for 2 days. This is not applicable to transit travelers who do not require a pre-arranged visa and are permitted to enter Qatar through sponsorship of the concerned airline company, provided they have a stop over in Qatar for more than 6 hours, until their departure to a third destination as per the next pre-determined flight schedule dates.

Return Visa for visitors

Return visas are issued to visitors wherein they are granted permission to return once every six months or twice a year to their home country.

Return Permit: Is provided to those who have lost their passports. It is issued to all categories of residents and residents with personal sponsorships and company sponsorships. However, an official letter from the sponsor and a copy of company registration form should be sponsored by the company. The visa has a validity period of 14 days and the visa will be issued after the old passport is registered in the blacklist system.

Visa-on-arrival for GCC Residents

The Interior Ministry in Qatar issued a revised list of 188 professions, and the GCC-resident practitioners under these professions are eligible for visa-on-arrival at the Doha International Airport. The visa will have one-month validity period. The professionals can get visa, provided, their GCC Residency Permit is valid for atleast six months, while original passport has atleast six-month validity and they should have a return ticket.

The visa can be obtained on paying QR100 as fee through credit card. But, the visa can also be extended by another three months by paying an extension fee of QR100 for every additional month. But, a penalty of QR200 will be levied for each day after expiry.

Other than doctors, businessmen and engineers, the revised list will include businesswomen, journalists, medical equipment technicians, military officers, marketing agents, quality monitors, bankers, military officers, lawyers and teachers among others.

Listed below are the professions that qualify for visa-on-arrival:

Aquatic specialist
Statistics specialist Agricultural specialist
Gardening specialist
Medical analysis specialist
Speech specialist
Breeding specialist (animals/birds/bees)
Medical X-ray specialist
Nutrition specialist
Zoology specialist
Lab specialist
Sports medicine specialist
X-Ray specialist
Media specialist
Customs specialist
Medical therapy specialist
University professor
Media person
Secretary or director of library
Staffs at embassies in GCC (except support services jobs)
Archeological researcher
Administrative researcher
Legal researcher
Quantity enumerator
Referee (sports)
Finance/Economics expert
Law expert
Information Systems expert
Diplomat (Members of diplomatic corps)
President or director of a university
Chief Justice
Head of Prosecution
President or director of a club
Weather expert
Earthquakes expert
Captain of Ship/Cruise/Carrier/Steamship
Religious person
Architectural draftsman
Business lady
Executive secretary
Army officer
Police officer
University student
Physician (All specialisation)
Surgeon (All specialisation)
Veterinary doctor
College dean
Artist (Actor, Musician, Composer, Poet, Painter, Singer…etc)
Telecom technician
rofessional security and safety technician
Medical equipments technician
Control equipments technician
X-ray technician
Dental technician (fixing)
Radio or TV transmission technician
Optical technician
CG technician
Horse breeding technician
Mining technician
Microscopic technician
Geology technician
Well drilling technician
Pharmaceutical technician
Foodstuff technician
Ship maintenance technician
Aircraft maintenance technician
Train Maintenance Technician
Lab Technician
Aviation Technician
Chemist (All Specializations)
Player (All sports items in a sports club)
Computer Programmer
Accountant / Auditor
Lawyer / Advocate
Economic Analyst
Systems Analyst
Operations Analyst
Customs Clearer
Sports Trainer
Aviation Trainer
General Professional Trainer (Industrial/Agricultural/Commercial)
Teacher / Instructor
Investment Manager
Archeological Director
Research & Studies Director
Insurance Manager
Banking business Manager
Production Director
Manager or Director of any government departments or companies
Administrative Manager
Broadcasting Manager
Media Manager
Regional Director
Bank Manager
Commercial Manager
Marketing Manager
Television Manager
Executive Manager / Director
Cooperative Society Manager
Accounts Manager
Cinema Director
Company or Factory Manager
Maintenance Manager
Printing and Publishing Manager
Hotel Manager
Electrical Manager
Finance Manager
Sales Manager
Museum Manager
School Manager
Plant Manager
Theatre Manager
Hospital Manager
Institute Manager
Library Manager
Laboratory Manager
Marine Transport Manager
Land Transport Manager
Air Transport Manager
Tourism Agency Manager
TV or Radio Programs Presenter
Correspondent (Newspaper/Radio/TV)
Food Controller
Aircraft Takeoff Controller
Maritime Controller
Quality Controller
Air Controller
Marine Traffic Controller
Media Controller
Road Controller
Aircraft Landing Controller
Cruise Ship Guide
Tourist Guide
Aviation Guide
Assistant Pharmacist
Assistant Engineer (All specializations)
General Supervisor
Ships Supervisor
Decoration Designer
TV Cameraman
Cinema Cameraman
Press Photographer
Land Hostess
Air Hostess
Program Producer
Ship Captain
Aircraft Pilot
Male or Female Nurse
Cinema or Television Producer
Marketing Representative
Sports Representative
Sales Representative
Procurement Representative
Administration Coordinator
Archeological Prospector
Engineer (All specializations)
Career Counselor
Assistant General Manager
Commercial Broker
Travel or Tourism Agent
Ministry Undersecretary


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