Departure to Doha


Passport, Visa & Permits to Doha


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This section is intended for reference only. We strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.

Passport

You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be lengthy & expensive, so begin your application at least six months before you plan to leave.

Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years.

Visas for Qatar

A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance".

Qatar's Ministry of Interior - administers applications and visas.

Hours of Operation: Sun – Thur 7 am – 1 pm
Telephone: 974 44330000
E-mail: info@moi.gov.qa

Information and forms can be found on the MOI Resident site.

Who needs a visa for Qatar?

All visitors to Qatar – whether tourists, visitors on business, students, individuals on a layover, families visiting residents of Qatar, etc. – require a visa, except Qatari citizens. Visas normally fall under two categories: Tourist and Business.

You must carry a business or tourist visa when entering the country.

Tourist Visa for Qatar

The State of Qatar issues tourist visas to visitors from 33 countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, The Netherlands, USA, UK, and Vatican City.

Tourists from these countries may apply for a tourist visa to enter Qatar online before arrival. Applicants are required to supply a sponsor ID in the visa application, which can be from a relative living in Qatar or an ID supplied by a hotel. List of authorized hotels

Citizens of any other countries must apply for a Tourist Visa through the Qatar Embassy in their home country.

Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – can apply for a GCC Resident Visit Visa that is extendable for up to three months.

You must carry a tourist or business visa when entering the country. If you do not apply for one ahead of time, you may purchase one at the airport.

How to Apply for a Tourist Visa for Qatar

To apply for a tourist visa:

  • Obtain an application form from the Hukoomi Qatar e-Government web site
  • Indicate your sponsor's ID. You may be sponsored by a relative living in Qatar or a hotel in Qatar, which will provide you with its ID number. A list of authorized hotels can be found on the Qatar e-Government website.
  • Pay fee.
  • Print visa and bring with you to Qatar.

Joint Tourist Visas for Qatar and Oman

Joint travel visas allow successful applicants to travel freely between Qatar and Oman. You are eligible for a Joint Tourist Visa if you are a citizen of one of the 33 countries listed above under "Tourist Visa".

This type of visa is issued upon arrival at the airport border of Qatar. Travellers can apply online for a Joint Travel Visa ahead of time on the Hukoomi Qatar e-Government web site.

To apply for a joint tourist visa:

  • Fill out the application form on the Hukoomi Qatar e-Government web site
  • Pay the appropriate fee of QR 100 online. If your application is for a Joint Tourist Visa for more than one person (e.g. family members) an additional fee of QR 20 applies per person on the application. For example, an application for a family of four costs QR 160.
  • Print the visa form.

Joint Tourist Visa holders are not permitted to work in Qatar during their stay.

Business Visa for Qatar

A business visa permits individuals to enter Qatar for a short term basis on work-related visits. These are valid for 72 hours initially, with month-long business visas available for overseas workers joining companies or those employed on short-term contracts. Business visas can be extended for up to three months.

Business visas are applied for by the sponsoring company. The fee for business visas is QR 200 and QR 50 for each registered applicant on your application (e.g. family members). These fees are also payable for every month the visa is extended.

Family Visit Visa (short-term) for Qatar

Families of sponsored residents in Qatar may apply for a short-term family visit visa to visit Qatar for less than one month. If you wish to extend this visa you must undergo a physical examination within the first 72 hours of arriving in Qatar, and then apply for an extension (up to six months).

How to Apply for a Family Visit Visa for Qatar

  • Obtain an application form from the Hukoomi Qatar e-Government web site. Print and fill out.
  • Attach a copy of the applicants' passport and ID card.
  • Attach a letter from the resident of Qatar's employer outlining his/her position and salary
  • Supply authenticated proof of relation between the applicant and the resident of Qatar (e.g. marriage or birth certificates)
  • Attach a copy of the resident of Qatar's rental lease document as proof of where the applicant will stay during their time in Qatar. This lease should clearly state the name of the resident as tenant.
  • Submit application to the Ministry of the Interior's main immigration office, located off the west D-Ring Road in Doha on Al Luqta Street
  • Pay the appropriate fees (QR 200 for each visa, and QR 50 for a registered dependent or companion). Extensions cost an additional QR 200 per month (plus QR 50 per month for a registered dependent or companion).

Exit Visa/Permit for Qatar

All residents of Qatar (except wives and children in Qatar under the sponsorship of their family) must obtain an exit permit to leave Qatar, even if leaving temporarily. Your exit permit is arranged by your sponsor (normally your employer).

To obtain an exit permit authorized users (sponsors) can apply on your behalf in person, online, or at a self-service kiosk through the Ministry of Interior's Passports and Airport Security Department. You must submit:

  • Application form
  • Submit a fee of QR 10 (1 application, exit permit valid for 7 days) or QR 500 (exit permit valid for one year, suitable for frequent travellers)

In theory, it is easy to get exit permits. However, your sponsor must apply for one on your behalf, so in practice this is not always the case. It is wise to inquire with prospective employers about what their exit permit policies and procedures are.

Residence Permit for Qatar

All expats must be sponsored by an employer, company or government agencies to get a residence permit in Qatar. You need a Residence Permit to do pretty much anything in Doha (hook up your utilities, get a health card, etc.) Obtaining a residence permit can take 6 weeks or longer, and during the application period applicants are not permitted to leave the country.

There are two types of residence permits available:

  • Work Residence Permits
  • Family Residence Permits

If you own property in certain real estate developments in Qatar, or you invest in selected business ventures, you may also be eligible to apply for a Real Estate Visa, a form of long-term visa that allows successful applicants to stay in Qatar without sponsorship (see below).

How to Apply for a Residence Permit for Qatar

The applicant is usually already in the country on a shorter term visa before applying for a residence permit. Permits are normally granted within six weeks and are valid from one to three years.

  • Fill out the online application form on the Hukoomi site.
  • Submit applicant's academic and professional qualifications.
  • Attach evidence that the applicant has completed medical evaluation and fingerprinting. (Refer to section below).
  • Attach original copies of marriage and birth certificates, if applicable.
  • Pay appropriate fees.

The cost for a permit is QR352 for Personal Sponsorships and QR1,052 for Company Sponsorships.

Once the medical tests have been passed, applicants have their fingerprints scanned and registered with Qatar's Ministry of Interior.

Foreigners lose their residency status if they leave the country for more than six months, unless they apply for an extension with the Ministry of Interior.

Medical Tests for Qatari Residence Permit

A medical test is compulsory for all forms of residence permits, and must be done during the applicant's first week in Qatar. Before attending this medical test you must obtain a certificate showing your blood type (you can get this at any medical clinic). The medical test in Qatar consists of screening for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Permit applications are rejected if HIV tests are positive. You will also receive a chest x-ray for tuberculosis. Results from these tests take a week to receive.

Medical tests can be conducted at the government-run Medical Commission Office on Al Muntazah Street in Doha, or at a private hospital (Doha Clinic Hospital, Al Ahli Hospital, Al Emadi Hospital).

Qatari ID Card

Once you receive your residency permit, you are also issued your Qatari ID card. It is mandatory for citizens and residents in Qatar to have an ID card. New applicants can also register for a SmartCard, which provides access to e-Government services. There is a standard fee to obtain an ID card, normally covered by your employer. You can apply for new ID cards on the Hukoomi web site. Hukoomi website, select New ID Card and then the Add e-Service to ID Card page for details.

If you lose your ID card it costs QR 100 for a new one. You can renew your ID card on the Hukoomi site.

Work Residence Permits for Qatar

Sponsorship by an employer is required as these cannot be obtained unless there is a job offer or contract from an employer. These are valid for 1-3 years and are renewable.

How to Apply for a Work Residence Permit for Qatar

The employer applies for a work residence permit on behalf of the employee. Certificates such as degrees, marriage certificates, etc. need to be attested by both the country of issue's foreign office and the Qatar embassy.

Changing jobs in Qatar can affect your residency status. The employer who sponsors your work residence permit is entitled to restrict their employee from joining another company, which means you may become ineligible to stay in Qatar until the end of this restriction period.

Family Residence Permits for Qatar

Available to the immediate family of an expat who has a Work Residence Permit and earns more than QR 7,000 per month. These are valid for 1-3 years and are renewable.

The cost of obtaining a residence permit for your family may or may not be covered by your employer. However, the application for family residence visas is generally taken care of by your employer. All family members must undergo a medical test, described above, during the application process.

How to Apply for a Family Residence Permit for Qatar

  • Completed application form on the Hukoomi site.
  • Copies of passports for all applicants and for sponsoring persons
  • Copies of Work Residence Permit of the main sponsoring person
  • Copy of the sponsoring person's employment contract specifying their wage and position
  • A no-objection certificate from your employer
  • Copies of your marriage, birth, etc. certificates and education certificates. These must be attested by both the country of issue's foreign office and the Qatar embassy.
  • Proof of address (such as a utility bill) of the principal family member.
  • You cannot apply for a residence permit for male children over the age of 25. There is no restriction for female children.

Spouses who receive Family Residence Visas are not permitted to work in the country unless they receive special permission from the Ministry of Interior's Labour Department, who may issue them work permits.

Real Estate Visa for Qatar

Non-Qataris who invest in selected real estate projects in Qatar may live in the country without sponsorship under a Real Estate Visa. Applicable to overseas owners of property in designated developed in Qatar. These are valid for 1-5 years or until the property is sold. Online applications can be found on the Hukoomi site. Applicants are also required to submit relevant property ownership documents, a certificate of good behavior, and authenticated medical records to qualify for this visa.

Investor Visa for Qatar

Non-Qataris who invest in selected business ventures in Qatar may live in the country without sponsorship under an Investor Visa. Online applications can be found on the Hukoomi site. Applicants are also required to submit relevant property ownership documents, a certificate of good behavior, and authenticated medical records to qualify for this visa.

Citizenship in Qatar

Expats may apply for citizenship if they:

  • Lived in Qatar for 25 years (with gaps not exceeding 6 months). For Arab nationals of another Arab country, the residence period is 15 years.
  • Speak Arabic
  • Clean criminal record

All documents must be translated into Arabic and must accompany the original.

Priority is to be given to applicants whose mothers are Qatari nationals. Dual citizenship is not recognized. Because of these restrictions, applying for citizenship is not common.

Citizenship of Spouse in Qatar

Qatari men must get permission from the government to marry a foreigner. If a Qatari woman wants to marry a foreigner it may be permitted, but nationality will not be passed down to the children. In Qatari law, the family follows the Father's lineage. Pre-Marital Registration can be found online.

Marriages between Muslim men and Christian women are not performed in Qatar. The only non-Muslim marriages granted official recognition by the State of Qatar are Christian marriages performed by churches registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by clergy recognized by the Ministry to preform non-Muslim marriages.

Once the marriage has taken place, the marriage certificate needs to be translated into Arabic and registered with the Ministry of Justice and attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A foreigner must also register the marriage with their embassy. However, this does not automatically grant citizenship.

Note that living together as an unmarried couple is illegal in Qatar, as is being pregnant out of wedlock.

Citizenship of Children Born in Qatar

Birth within the State of Qatar does not automatically confer citizenship. Children of foreigners born in Qatar don't have rights of local citizenship and automatically assume the nationality of the parents.

If the father is Qatari, the child will usually be granted citizenship. If only the mother is Qatari, the children are not usually granted citizenship.

Update 1/10/2013


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