In an effort to attract more visitors to the country, the Qatari government has introduced several new visa initiatives:

1. Visa-Free Program for Nationals of 80 Countries

The first key change is a visa waiver for nationals of 80 countries. Of those countries:

Nationals of the 80 countries will no longer need to apply for (or pay for) a visa upon arrival in Qatar. Instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued, free of charge, upon the presentation of:

2. “E-Visas” for Nationals of 242 Countries and Territories

The second key change that has been introduced is that nationals of 242 countries and territories may now apply for “e-visas” if they a hold either a residence permit or visa issued by one of 35 specific countries. To visit Qatar under the new e-visa system, applicants will need to present:

Additional documents may also be required in some cases. Upon approval, the visa holder may stay in Qatar for up to 30 days.

3. Visa on Arrival for Pakistani Nationals

The third change is that Pakistani nationals are now eligible for visas on arrival in Qatar. Visas are issued free of cost upon the presentation of:

In addition, Pakistani nationals travelling directly from Pakistan must also provide “a certificate of vaccination against polio according to the procedures currently in place.” Visas are valid for 30 days and are renewable (for another 30 days) subject to confirmation of a return ticket.

4. Transit Visas for Qatar Airways Passengers of Any Nationality

All passengers (regardless of nationality) flying with Qatar Airways and traveling through Hamad International Airport are eligible for a 96-hour transit visa (free of charge) if their layover is at least five or more hours. However, transit visas (which were introduced in 2016) are granted at the sole discretion of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, and applicants must apply for them at least seven days in advance.

To receive a transit visa, the applicant must present:

Transit visas for entry are valid for 30 days.


In line with Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar hopes to increase the number of tourists to the country from 2.93 million in 2015 to 7 to 10 million annually by 2030. The range of new visa measures announced by the Qatar Tourism Authority have been well received; however, it remains to be seen whether these measures will attract more visitors to the country.

Written by Kamaljit Dosanjh of Al Tamimi & Co. and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins