In November 2016, Qatar eased entry for foreign nationals by introducing 4-day free transit visa on condition of traveling on Qatar Airways flights with a transit layover at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. While the transit visa to Qatar was free only for Qatar Airways’ international passengers, the government of Qatar has taken a step further to ease entry for citizens of 80 countries, including United States, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and the UK.
Now onwards, travelers from the selected 80 countries are not required to apply for a visa to enter Qatar, be it for a short trip or a long holiday tour. They will get the waiver for visa free entry to Qatar at any point of entry in the country, on presenting their passports valid for minimum 6 months and confirmed onward or return flight tickets.
The validity of visa free entry to Qatar will range from 30 days to 180 days depending on the nationality of visitors. The visa waiver can be valid either for 30 days or 180 days. The total 80 countries have been divided into two groups. The first group of 47 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Singapore and Japan is entitled to 30-day-long visa free entry to Qatar. They can apply for a possible extension of visa waiver for another 30 days.
The second group of 33 countries including major European countries is eligible for 180-day-long visa waiver for multiple entries to Qatar. It allows the citizens of these countries to stay in Qatar up to 90 days.
The visa free entry to Qatar will benefit those traveling on transit or connecting flights on major international routes via Doha, such as USA to Thailand, and USA to Singapore. Qatar is not only welcoming foreign nationals to explore its history and heritage, but also opening new routes to Asia Pacific countries like Australia and Thailand.
Qatar Airways’ strategic expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region have fetched the tourism of Qatar an exposure to new destinations. With Qatar Airways’ new flights from Doha to Canberra, Doha to Chiang Mai, and Doha to Krabi, Qatar is on a roll.
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