Qatar Announces Visa-Free Travel From United States

Airplane flying over Doha Qatar
Photo by Hvoenok/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Qatar has announced that it will now allow visa-free travel for citizens of 80 countries, including the United States.

Under the new rules, citizens of the affected countries will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa. Instead, they can obtain a free multi-entry waiver at their port of entry upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. For travelers from the U.S., the waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and will entitle its holder to spend up to 30 days in the country, either during a single trip or multiple ones. The waiver may be extended for another 30 days.

In an announcement of the new policy Qatar tourism officials said that the move was the latest in a series of updates aimed at making travel to the country easier. Last month Qatar launched a new e-visa platform at www.qatarvisaservice.com, and in May the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways launched the +Qatar initiative, which is aimed at promoting the country as a stopover destination. Last year, QTA also opened a new representative office in New York, marking the tourist bureaus seventh office location worldwide.

The move also comes following a summer of disruptions for the countrys travel sector. In June a diplomatic crisis erupted when nine countries – Mauritius, Mauritania, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libyas eastern-based government – severed ties with Qatar. Qatar Airways was banned from operating flights to or from those countries, as well as from overflying Saudi Arabian airspace, forcing it to reroute many of its flights.

Qatar Airways was also hit by this summers laptop ban, which was just lifted in early July. During the ban the airline implemented a laptop loan service that provided free laptops to business travelers who wanted to work on their flight.

Looking ahead, Qatar tourism officials said that they are considering further enhancements to the countrys visa policy, such as waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or a valid visa from the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), the UK, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the Schengen countries of the European Union. This waiver would allow eligible visitors to obtain an electronic travel authorization by completing an online application at least 48 hours prior to travel.

Below is a list of countries whose travelers can obtain waivers valid for 30 days entitling them to spend up to 30 days in Qatar:

  1. Andorra
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Belarus
  5. Bolivia
  6. Brazil
  7. Brunei
  8. Canada
  9. Chile
  10. China
  11. Colombia
  12. Ecuador
  13. Panama
  14. Costa Rica
  15. Georgia
  16. Guyana
  17. Hong Kong
  18. India
  19. Indonesia
  20. Ireland
  21. Japan
  22. Kazakhstan
  23. Lebanon
  24. Azerbaijan 
  25. Macedonia
  26. Malaysia
  27. Maldives
  28. Mexico
  29. Moldova
  30. Monaco
  31. New Zealand
  32. Paraguay
  33. Peru
  34. Russia
  35. San Marino
  36. Singapore
  37. South Africa
  38. South Korea
  39. Suriname
  40. Cuba
  41. Thailand
  42. Ukraine
  43. United Kingdom
  44. United States
  45. Uruguay
  46. Vatican City
  47. Venezuela

Nationals of the following countries can obtain waivers valid for 180 days entitling them to spend up to 90 days in Qatar:

  1. Austria
  2. Bahamas
  3. Belgium
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Croatia
  6. Cyprus
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Denmark
  9. Estonia
  10. Finland
  11. France
  12. Germany
  13. Greece
  14. Hungary
  15. Iceland
  16. Italy
  17. Latvia
  18. Liechtenstein
  19. Lithuania
  20. Luxembourg
  21. Malta
  22. Netherlands
  23. Norway
  24. Poland
  25. Portugal
  26. Romania
  27. Seychelles
  28. Slovakia
  29. Slovenia
  30. Spain
  31. Sweden
  32. Switzerland
  33. Turkey

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