How To Apply For A Qatar Visa?
The Covid 19 pandemic may have restricted our travel plans to cooking routines or binge-watching your favourite series on Netflix or maybe just catch up on the TBR list, but there is no harm in gaining some knowledge around your travel destinations and how to reach them.
Some of the common responses to the question “so where are you going for the holidays?” are Paris, Agra, Machu Pichu, Rome, Beijing or the Alps which naturally make up for some of the most travelled to destinations of the world. Among the Arab League, Dubai or Abu Dhabi may top the carts for being tourist destinations on account of the glimpse of their stunning culture. Qatar, a peninsular Arab country may not be very well known but shares the same ethnic and cultural roots as Dubai.
Qatar boasts a rich landscape influenced by Bedouin culture with Pearl fishing and the numerous forts at the headset of its heritage. You could visit the museum at the Al Zubarah Fort or Pahlwaan Saad Ismail Al Jassim, otherwise known as the old pearl driver’s shop to meet possibly the only pearl diver in Qatar. However, the question is, how?
Visiting another country means going through the arduous process of applying for a visa and waiting for it to be approved. Not always the best encouragement for your travel plans. However, luckily for you, if you belong to any of the countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates or so on, you do not require a visa to visit the country as a tourist. Qatar allows nationals of about 80 countries to visit the country as a tourist without a visa! Of course, this is based on an assumption that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity (Check out Vouchers Portal for exclusive discounts on your travel bookings from the top leading travel websites like !).
If you are not a part of any of these 80 countries, you are not eligible for the visa-free policy and have to apply for a tourist visa and choose to extend your stay if you have just not had enough of the country’s culture. The process to apply for Qatar’s visa is fairly simple as it neither involves standing in long queues at the embassy, nor gathering loads of information before you can start with the application process. Here is how it works.
Applying For Qatar Visa
Check for ETA
You do not need an ETA if you belong to any of the 80 countries whose nationals can enter the country without a visa. Check out www.visitqatar.qa/plan/visas-requirements.html for a continually updated list of the countries which are allowed entry without a visa and the allowable lengths of stay concerning the same. But if you need to apply for a visa and have it delivered to you in Qatar, the first step is to obtain an electronic travel authorization (ETA). This is an entry requirement implemented by the Qatar government in 2017 for tourist purposes. You qualify for an ETA in case you have a valid visa visit to the Schengen countries namely Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada or the USA. You can apply for ETA by filling out a simple online application form, uploading a few documents and entering the destination country (Qatar, in this instance). All you need to do upon entering Qatar is present your passport and the ETA document thereby provided.
Once you check that you need an ETA document to enter Qatar as a tourist, you can complete the online form at https://qatar.vfsevisa.com/Qatar-Online/QROnline/VisaCategoryAndPricingDetails/DisplayVisaCategoryAndPricingDetails#no-back which requires you to set up an account in your name and complete your ETA application. Make sure you have a valid email address which is required at the time of completion of the application. This is important because the Ministry of Interior stays in touch with you throughout your visit so make sure that you use an email address that can be used to access you both before and during your trip to Qatar.
You need to keep documents ready when they inquire you about your citizenship, residency and the planned travel to Qatar (such as the reason). Your request may not get approved if they suspect you trying to pull at something, so try to stay in the good books!
Next, you need to upload the necessary documentation associated with your travel to get the ETA approval. These documents must be valid for at least 6 months from the day you enter Qatar. The list of important documents includes passport scan of the bio page, airline ticket, passport size picture, proof of residence, proof of accommodation such as hotel reservations in Qatar and proof of valid visitor visa for any of the Schengen countries. The visa must be valid for at least 30 days from the date of your arrival in Qatar.
Make sure you submit a copy of the confirmed airline ticket or onward travel to get the ETA approved.
Your Visa Is Ready!
And there you go! You would receive an email confirmation of the ETA document which is electronically connected to your passport. While there is no payment required to apply for ETA, there is a small service charge of approximately $14. Once the process is completed and thoroughly verified, your visa is handed over to you once you reach Qatar. You can pick up your visa at the Immigration Office at Hamad International Airport.
But beware! An ETA approval does not guarantee your entry into Qatar. The Immigration Agency maintains strict circumspection over these matters and reserves all the rights to deny you entry in Qatar even if you have an ETA, so tread lightly!
Requesting For A Tourist Visa In Qatar
A travel visa is generated for those who travel to Qatar for business, work, study or employment. You can apply for a transit visa if you plan to stop over Qatar on your way to a destination that is valid for 24 hours and can be used for temporary halts. Alternately, you can also apply for a business visa if you are a diplomat traveling to Qatar as a representative of your nation.
To apply for a tourist visa, here are the requirements:
The first step towards having a tourist visa issued in your name is getting a passport size picture clicked. Since the process is online, you would need digital passport photos which have been recently clicked, preferably within the past one or two months of applying for the visa. Just go to the nearest photo studio or a pharmacy or a discount store and get your passport size pictures clicked in no time.
The required picture size is 48 X 35 mm with good resolution and coloured (Don’t go for black and white). Your head must be straight and your face visible with a neutral expression and no make-up. Passport size pictures should be as natural as possible.
You have to set up an account on the site which has the online application form to apply for a tourist visa in Qatar. You can find it here: https://qatar.vfsevisa.com/Qatar-Online/QROnline/VisaCategoryAndPricingDetails/DisplayVisaCategoryAndPricingDetails#no-back. Or if you have booked a flight with Qatar Airways, you can also apply for a visa through the airline’s official website.
While creating an account, make sure that you provide a valid email address that can be accessed by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to contact you throughout your travel visit. Keep your documents and information regarding citizenship, identity, accommodation details, background checks and travel details ready since they are required at the time of filling out the application.
You would need a passport size picture, copy of your passport’s bio page, confirmed airline booking reservation, details of accommodation like the hotel reservation or name of the Qatari resident with whom you plan to stay with (along with their resident visa copy, Qatar ID, and a copy of their passport bio page), proof of residence (resident car or phone bill or debit/credit card bill etc.) and proof of visitor visa which must be valid for at least 30 days after the date of arrival in Qatar. You have to scan or upload digital copies of these documents during the online application process.
Once all the obligations have been fulfilled, all that is left for you to do is make the payment. The fees for the tourist visa as of 2020 stands at QAR 189.33 and can be paid via a credit card or debit card. The fee is non-refundable irrespective of the status of your application.
Your job is done!
Now that you have filled your application with all the valid documents, your part is done. The Ministry of Interior will contact you via email, once your application and documents have been verified. While the Ministry doesn’t provide any information regarding the time taken for processing your visa applications, you can find the instructions regarding the location and other details of picking up your visa via the same mail, in case you have been issued a visa.
After receiving confirmation regarding your visa, well, get on a flight and visit the beautiful country!
Requesting An Extension On Your Stay In Qatar
If you wish to extend your stay in Qatar because you just haven’t had enough of the country or have some impending business in Qatar, you can always request an extension on your stay. Here is how you can go about it:
Locate the immigration service centre
To locate the nearest immigration centre, go to https://www.moi.gov.qa/site/english/channel/ServiceCentre.html or if you wish to apply online at your convenience, check out https://portal.moi.gov.qa/wps/portal/MOIInternet/services/inquiries/visaservices/visitvisaextension Alternately you could visit the immigration office at Hamad International Airport to request an extension on your visa.
Once you find the immigration centre, process a request to extend your stay for another 30 days. You must have certain documents compulsorily on you while applying for an extension, such as an ETA or travel visa and a passport valid for another 6 months after the date of extension or till your proposed departure.
Submit your passport and confirmed ticket for further stay
To have your extension approved by the MOI, you must present a confirmed flight ticket to travel out of the country before the date of your proposed departure i.e. the end of the extension period.
In case you fail to present the required documents or a passport that is not valid for the next 6 months beyond the application for extension, your visa would terminate and you would have to travel back to your country to renew your passport, get a new visa and take a journey back to Qatar.
If you stay past the expiration of your visa, you would be charged QAR 200 per day that you have overstayed your visit, since this is considered a federal crime.
Make the payment
If your application is processed and accepted, you would be required to pay an amount of QAR 189.33 for a 30-day extension via a credit/debit card. However, remember that the MOI reserves the rights to deny the extension for any reason, in which case you would have to return to your native country before the visa expires.