Americans, and Many Others, Can Now Travel to Qatar Without A Visa
Qatar announced Wednesday that it will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, with immediate effect, scrapping the current visa requirements. The decision comes as the Gulf country is embroiled in a dispute with its neighbors, resulting in a diplomatic crisis and the closure of some national airspaces to Qatari aircraft, forcing Qatar Airways to take longer routes.
The countries include the USA, UK, Canada, India, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand. The waiver means that citizens of these countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free of charge at the port of entry, which for most travellers is Doha's Hamad International Airport (DOH) upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months, and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
Until today, US citizens and those of the countries that just got a waiver had to purchase a 30-day visa upon arrival, or apply online before traveling.
Depending on the nationality of the visitor, visa-free entry is valid for either 180 days and allows spending a total of 90 days in Qatar, or for 30 days.
You can check below to see your country's passport is among those benefiting from the waiver:
1) Nationals of the following 33 countries will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. 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.
2) Nationals of the following 47 countries (including the USA) will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. 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.
For nationalities entitled to 30 days, such as the USA and UK, Qatar says that the waiver can be extended by a further 30 days.
At a news conference in Doha on Wednesday with Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (in the middle in the image), it was clear that Qatar wants to show the rest of the world that it's still open to visitors and that it's business as usual for the small Gulf nation.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, acting chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority, said that “with 80 nationalities eligible for a free visa waiver upon arrival, Qatar is now the most open country in the region.”
The famously outspoken Al Baker also took a shot at the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, led by Saudi Arabia, pitted against Qatar in the current crisis. “Let me make this clear, Qatar welcomes every GCC citizen, without restriction,” he said. "It’s the GCC siege countries stopping them from coming here. But if they can get here, they’re welcome — and visa free."
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