DOHA, 26 June 2017: Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority, have launched an e-visa platform to allow travellers to obtain tourist visas online.
Doha News reported that a tourist visa can now be obtained on the new e-visa platform, which is currently in a pilot phase, at www.qatarvisaservice.com.
Previously, travellers were required to submit their applications through accredited Qatar-based entities, such as hotels and tour operators. Now, they can apply directly and track the status of their application online.
Documents attached with the online application are: Passport page scan, ID photograph, airline ticket scan, and the address they will be staying at when in Qatar. The attached zpeg files should not exceed 1 MB each.
Passengers who are travelling on the national airline will have the added convenience of having their ticket validated automatically as the visa service will be linked to the airline’s booking platform.
It will take around 48 hours, when all documents have been posted online, to approve an eVisa that will be confirmed by an email. The passenger prints out the email and presents at the immigration counter at Doha airport.
As the pilot phase progresses the eVisa service will be extended to include business visits.
Qatar stepped up efforts to boost visitor arrivals when it introduced a new free-of-charge transit visa in November last year.
The new transit visa allowed passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad International Airport, to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days), a significant increase from the previous scheme, which allowed transiting passengers to remain in Qatar for just 48 hours.
In related news, citizens of Russia, China, South Africa, Lebanon, Indonesia and dozens of other countries will now be able to purchase visas-on-arrival in Qatar.
The move comes as Qatar seeks to boost tourism amid a boycott by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
According to a circular from Qatar Airways to employees, last week, the Ministry of Interior has approved the entry of more than 30 more nationalities with immediate effect, based on the following conditions:
Their passports must be valid for six months or more;
Visitors have a return/onward ticket; and
They must have a hotel booking and USD1,500 in cash or credit card allowance.
The visa-on-arrival is valid for a one-month stay and costs QR100 (roughly USD30).
The full list of 71 nationalities eligible for visa-on-arrival are posted on the Qatar Airways website.