Visas

How to obtain a visa

GCC nationals can enter Qatar freely, as can holders of full status British passports (with rights of abode).

All other nationalities must obtain Qatari sponsorship through a hotel or an individual. It’s necessary to check that the embassy or consulate you choose to approach has the facility to issue visas.

Tourist Visa

Only hotels are able to procure these, and the visa duration corresponds to your length of stay at the hotel. An onward or return ticket is required, along with the usual documents.

Visitor Visa

You can obtain a visitor visa either via a Qatari sponsor or by submitting your documents to the embassy or consulate in your home country. Single journey stays can be up to three months, but stays of over 30 days require a medical.

Business Visa

Business visas are valid for three months from their date of issue and are for a single visit for a period of one week, with possible extensions up to four weeks. The simplest and quickest route to secure a business visa is for your sponsor to organise one in Qatar.

Work & Residence Visas

The procedure for obtaining work and residence visas is lengthy and complex and is put into motion by your sponsor. A number of formalities must be observed, including a full medical examination (including an HIV test) and the submission of academic and professional qualifications. In many cases, these formalities are dealt with during a visit to Qatar on a visitor or business visa (see above). You might also need to supply original marriage and birth certificates if applying for family status. Residence visas are valid for between one and three years. Multi-entry visas are available in certain circumstances.

Exit Visa

The sponsored individual (i.e. the working member of a family) is required to obtain an exit visa if he has been in the country for 30 days or more. This can be obtained by your sponsor. Families are exempt from this requirement.

This article is an extract from Living and Working in Gulf States & Saudi Arabia. Click here to get a copy now.

Further reading

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