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QATAR – Visa-Free Entry Introduced for 80 Nationalities

On 9 August 2017 Qatar announced that, effective immediately, nationals of 80 countries can enter the country visa-free for stays of up to 30 days or 90 days.

Who Qualifies?

The 34 countries whose nationals can obtain a multiple-entry visa on arrival for stays of up to 90 days, valid for 180 days from the date of issuance, include all the Schengen Area Member States, plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania, the Bahamas, Malaysia, the Seychelles and Turkey.

The 46 countries whose nationals can obtain a multiple-entry visa on arrival for stays of up to 30 days (renewable for an additional 30 days), valid for 180 days from the date of issuance, include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. See the full list here.

Nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) do not require a visa to enter Qatar.

Background

A diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar began in June and is ongoing. Participating countries have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, imposed travel and trade restrictions on Qatari citizens and goods, and ordered their citizens out of Qatar. Several have closed their airspace and airports to flights to and from Qatar and all flights of state-owned Qatar Airways.

On 2 August, the Qatari cabinet approved a new law that would allow the Ministry of Interior to grant permanent residency to some foreign nationals already living in the country, continuing Qatar’s recent increasing openness to globalization, in the face of the ongoing hostility towards the country from some neighbouring nations.

Action Items

  • Employers sending foreign nationals to Qatar for business or work should consult an immigration specialist provider to confirm the latest requirements and recommendations.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by FutureGate Business Services.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.