Home to one of the world’s best airports, Qatar is an attractive layover destination. But why not extend your transit stop? Many nationalities are eligible for visa-free entry to Qatar, so you can leave the airport and start exploring with minimal hassle.

The visa requirements for entering Qatar depend on your nationality. For most travelers, visiting for tourism is straightforward, but the logistics of getting into the country can be more time-consuming and expensive if your home country is not on the list for visa-exempt travel.

Here’s our guide to Qatar’s entry requirements, with information on visa types, costs, and details on how to apply for one.

What you need to know about visas in Qatar

Hukoomi, Qatar’s official e-government portal, has a helpful online guide to the visas available for travel to Qatar. Visa applications are typically easily made via the MOI website, which has a handy tool to check whether you need a visa.

Citizens of more than 90 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into Qatar, with varying maximum lengths of stay depending on your nationality. Travelers from eligible countries can obtain a visa waiver on arrival to Qatar upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum of six months’ validity and a confirmed onward ticket.

For nationals of approximately 40 countries – including many European destinations – the visa waiver is valid for 180 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar during a single trip or on multiple trips.

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Carpets on sale in old Doha night souk, with Al-Fanar Qatar Islamic Cultural Center in the background.
For many travelers, little or no visa paperwork is needed to visit the markets of Doha © Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

For nationals of approximately 50 other countries, including the US, Australia, the UK, Canada, and South Africa, visa-free stays are limited to 30 days, with the possibility to extend for an additional 30 days after you arrive for a fee of QR200. India and Pakistan are also on this list but there are currently additional requirements, including a hotel booking made via the Discover Qatar website. Pakistani nationals must also present proof of polio vaccination.

If you’re a citizen or resident of another Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates), you can obtain a one-month GCC Resident Visit Visa on arrival or through a Qatari embassy, though you’ll need to provide proof that you work in one of around 200 eligible professions. The official list of approved careers is in Arabic, but translations can be found on other websites. This visa is renewable for an additional three months.

Visitors from most other countries can apply for a 30-day tourist visa in advance. You will likely be required to supply additional documentation and pay a fee. Visitors from Israel are not typically allowed to enter Qatar.

Does Qatar have a working holiday visa?

Qatar does not offer a working holiday visa. Student visas are available for international students wishing to study at Qatar’s universities, and several visas are available for business travelers.

What are the visa rules for visiting Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

If you are planning to travel to Qatar between November 1, 2022, and January 23, 2023, you need to apply for a Hayya Card, which provides entry to Qatar, regardless of whether you are intending to attend a World Cup game. Ticket holders from Israel are permitted to enter Qatar for the tournament.

For the latest Qatar visa information, visit the Ministry of Interior (MOI) website or contact a Qatar consulate in your region.

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